Jeremy Wariner has already won Olympic gold, but he has yet to break the record. So when he takes to the track this week in Beijing for the 400 meter, he'll have his eye on besting 43.18.
"I feel as hard I have worked I have a chance to get the world record," Wariner said at a press conference held Aug. 13. The record is currently held by his manager and fellow Olympian Michael Johnson.
Wariner, a 24-year-old from Texas, knows the pressure of the games. Currently the defending gold medalist in the 400 meter and the 4x400-meter relay, this fast man with the sleek shades is ready for a fight.
"I have had some really good workouts," Wariner said at the press conference. "Training has been going really well, probably the best of the season."
This season he's been pushed by teammate LaShawn Merritt, who bested him in Berlin in June and at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Reuters said.
"For me it's great to have a rivalry," Wariner said. "It makes me train harder. When I go to the track I know LaShawn will be there working as hard as I am."
He tells SpikesMag.com that he sees two obstacles in his quest this year for gold.
"The first is myself, because as long as I’m running my race and I don’t let myself do something different, I feel like I’ll be hard to beat," he said. "The second is everyone else in the field, because I can be beaten on any given day. I just have to stay on top of things."
Wariner has been a breakout star since his days at Baylor University, where he decided to give up football for a career on the oval.
When he's not on the track, he can be found fishing, fiddling with his car or hanging out with his dogs.
But in Beijing, his concentration will be fully on 43.18.
"I know I can go faster than 43 seconds," he tells SpikesMag.com. "That’s what I’m training for — to break that barrier."