University of Southern California: USC Alumnus Rai Benjamin Earns Silver Medal, Sets American Record In Olympic 400m Hurdles Final

Rai Benjamin won a silver medal and set the American record in the men’s 400m hurdles and Kyra Constantine and Allyson Felix in the women’s 400m and Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse in the men’s 200m advanced to event semifinals to highlight USC’s action during the fifth day of track and field at the 2020 Olympics at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan today (Aug. 3).
Benjamin (USC 2018) earned a silver medal in an epic men’s 400m hurdles final, running the second-fastest time ever of 46.17 to take second. Karsten Warholm of Norway won with a world-record time of 45.94 to earn gold. Warholm set the previous world record of 46.70 earlier this year, breaking Kevin Young’s record of 46.78 which had stood since 1992, nearly 29 years. Both Benjamin and Warholm broke the previous world record by over a half second. The new American record-holder in the event Benjamin also shaved 0.66 seconds off his previous best of 46.83 which he set in winning the American 400m hurdles title at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June.

What. A. Race.

We are so proud of you, @_Kingben_!#USC2Tokyo

— USC Track & Field (@USC_Track_Field) August 3, 2021
Nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix (USC 2008) won her women’s 400m dash heat and was fourth overall with a time of 50.84 to automatically advance to the event semifinal on Aug. 4 at 3:30 a.m. PT. Kyra Constantine (USC 2021), running for Canada, placed fifth in the first heat of the women’s 400m and would have to wait it out as the top three in each heat plus the next six best would advance. She dropped down to the fourth spot through the first three heats and it was looking a little dicey, but she would slip no farther, finishing with the fourth-best non-automatic qualifying time and 21st overall on time. Nicole Yeargin (USC 2021, running for Great Britain, looked like she had automatically advanced, taking third in her heat with a time of 52.04, but after the race she was disqualified due to lane infringement.
Canadians Aaron Brown (USC 2014) and Andre De Grasse (USC 2015) both advanced to the men’s 200m semifinal on Aug. 3 at 4:50 a.m. PT. Brown won his heat with a time of 20.38 (-0.7) to automatically advance and De Grasse was third in his heat with a time of 20.56 (-0.6) to also automatically advance. Among the advancing runners on time, Brown was 11th and De Grasse 19th.
Trojans in action in the night session on Aug. 3 in Japan will be Nick Ponzio (USC 2018), competing for Italy in the shot put and Canadians Brown and De Grasse in the men’s 200m semifinal.