Published On: Sat, Aug 5th, 2017

World Athletics Championships 2017: Matt Hudson-Smith determined to correct Rio mistake

The one lap specialist was part of the 4x400m relay quartet who thought they had qualified for the Olympic final last summer with the third best time.

But their heat joy quickly turned to anger when the team were disqualified as Hudson-Smith’s foot was fractionally over the take-over zone line when he started running the third leg.

“I refuse to watch it,” said the 22-year-old. “I haven’t watched the 400m final, I haven’t watched the relay. That’s in the past, you have to move on.

“But I felt I kind of screwed over the guys. We still haven’t had the footage, we haven’t been told what happened but it’s all in the past.

“Someone’s quote I read is quite good. He said with athletics you have to have a short-term memory. You just get on it and that’s what I’m doing.”

Hudson-Smith made the individual final in Brazil finishing eighth as Wayde van Niekerk shattered Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record to win in 43.03secs.

And Hudson-Smith knows he has to forget about what the South African sensation can do but focus on his own race when he lines up for the World Championship heats today. 

He said: “He’s world record holder for a reason. You can’t control what he is going to do, I don’t really care. He’s amazing, he is going to do something.

“You can only do what you are going to do. I genuinely have no expectations. I can run 46, I can run 42. I don’t know.

“Like Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face. It’s the same in athletics. You are on the blocks and think, I’m going to get out to 300 and there is another guy who does exactly the same. So what’s the point of having a plan, just go through with what you feel. I feel it works.”

Hudson-Smith’s team-mate Martyn Rooney will also take to the blocks for what will be his seventh appearance at the worlds.

Rooney ran a storming anchor leg that proved to no avail in Rio and it is the relay that gives him the best chance of a medal.

“When I made my first worlds, I’d just turned 18 and went for the experience in the relay and managed to get two runs out there,” said the 30-year-old.

“It’s just an amazing ride. Athletics is tough so to go and experience these Games, go and see all these cities and pick up medals along the way is pretty cool.”

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