Bershawn Jackson turns 35, threatens American record in 400 hurdles

Bershawn Jackson, who always runs with a Nike headband, may be (at 5-8) the shortest world-class long hurdler.Bershawn Jackson may be (at 5-8) the shortest world-class long hurdler. Photo via IAAF

TV likes to call Bershawn Jackson “Batman.” Today we call him Birthday Boy. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 400 hurdles is 35. And despite his April 2017 announcement that he was retiring, he’s already competed at least five times this season. His most recent mark was a second-place finish Friday at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar. He clocked 49.08, which isn’t far off the listed M35 American record of 48.93 by Nat Page in 1992. He’s not likely to challenge the listed WR of 48.13 by Jamaica’s Danny McFarlane in 2009. (The last time he was that fast was 2015, when Bershawn ran 48.09 at Doha.) But financial incentives could help him go faster in this non-Olympic and non-IAAF world meet year. He’s won four world titles (three in 4×4 relays), so maybe he’ll keep on trackin’ till 2019 worlds — also in Doha. This means he’ll have to qualify, of course. But Batman — with a PR of 47.30 — has a way of surprising you. His next shot is later this month at Rome Diamond League. Go get ’em, BJ!

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at or Story tips always welcome!

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