World Athletics Championships: Matt Hudson-Smith secures 400m bronze medal after ‘three years of absolute hell’ | Athletics News

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Matt Hudson-Smith became the fourth British medallist at the World Championships after finishing third in the 400m final; the 27-year-old, who battled repeated injury problems for three years, revealed he had previously attempted suicide

Last Updated: 23/07/22 9:37am

Matt Hudson-Smith shows off his 400m bronze medal at the World Championships

Matt Hudson-Smith shows off his 400m bronze medal at the World Championships

Matt Hudson-Smith held off American rival Champion Allison to clinch a 400m bronze medal at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

The European champion clocked 44.66 seconds, battling hard in the closing stages to secure a podium place behind Michael Norman of the USA and Grenada’s Kirani James.

That effort ensured Hudson-Smith became the fourth British medallist at the championships after Laura Muir (1500m bronze), Dina Asher-Smith (200m bronze) and Jake Wightman (1500m gold).

“That was mad,” said the 27-year-old, whose run of 44.35 earlier in the year enabled him to break the long-standing British 400m record held by Iwan Thomas. “The game plan went out of the window, I just ran.

“It felt like a weight was on my back. I then felt Wayde (van Niekerk) and Champion on my outside and I was like ‘hang on for dear life’.

“I knew I was close enough to Kirani where I thought I could get him but at the same time I knew there was another person on the outside of me so I was ‘please hang on’ and I got a medal.

“This is just the beginning. I got the monkey off my back, which was the British record, and I’ve got another monkey off my back, which is getting a world medal.

“For the whole year my coach has been saying ‘the race is lost in the last 20 metres’. In the semis, I looked to my right and I lost my momentum.

Hudson-Smith became the GB 400m record holder after his run of 44.35 seconds in May

Hudson-Smith became the GB 400m record holder after his run of 44.35 seconds in May

“So I was like ‘don’t look at the clock, don’t do anything’. I was just looking forward.

“It was an anxious wait and then I saw my name and I just dropped to the floor because these three years have been absolute hell.”

Hudson-Smith, originally from Wolverhampton, had been plagued by Achilles, hamstring and hip injuries since 2019.

The athlete, who is now based in Florida, admitted he had also battled ‘huge’ mental health issues as a result – adding: “Not a lot of people know this, but I literally attempted suicide.

“I was racing knowing I was hurt all the time, going to races knowing I’m not 100 per cent. I couldn’t do the Olympics for several reasons.

Hudson-Smith was overcome with emotion after finishing third in the final in Oregon

Hudson-Smith was overcome with emotion after finishing third in the final in Oregon

“Everyone who has been around me, from my agent, to my coach, family, my girlfriend, honestly… a lot of people would have cracked, it’s just having the best support.

“During Covid I was stuck in America by myself. I love America, but I wanted to be with my family – it was tough.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. Imagine stepping on the line knowing you’re hurt.

“You have a whole load of pressure because everyone expects a lot from you. You expect a lot from yourself.”

If you are affected by issues related to mental wellbeing or want to talk, please contact the Samaritans on the free helpline 116 123, or visit the website



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