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08 July 2009
In the latest of our series leading up to this weekend's Aviva World Trials and UK Championships, 1999 AAAs 400m champion Jamie Baulch looks back on his own memories of the national championships and in particular the memorable battle in 1996.
“It’s got to be the best race ever in the event’s history.” Said Baulch of a race which saw the first four finishers all comfortably under 45 seconds. “I’m probably a bit biased, but it was stacked. Roger Black, Iwan Thomas, myself, Mark Richardson, Du’aine Ladejo. I finished fourth in 44.72. Fourth!”
In a remarkable battle, Black took the victory in 44.39, Ladejo claimed silver in 44.66 with Thomas just 0.03 further back. “I just remember looking up at the scoreboard and seeing the times, 45.3 was fifth and 46.1 was last. That could even get you a medal some years!
“It was the last race of the day and the crowd were really up for it, I was absolutely bricking it. We all had a bit of personality too. Roger was squeaky clean, Mark was the nice guy and me and Iwan were the jokers. I had ran 44.99 the week before, so was feeling really confident that I would be up there.
“I actually ran the race of my life. I was catching people all the way down the straight. It was one of my greatest races. I was happy to be part of that. Not many people would be pleased with coming 4th, but I was proud of that. It was a great performance by all of us. We would’ve done well in the US trials with those times.”