Newly minted World 400m champion Steven Gardiner dedicated his gold medal to the people of his country that were recently devastated by Hurricane Irma.

Gardiner ran a personal best and new national record 43.48 to demolish a quality field that included US champion Fred Kerley who finished third in 44.17 behind the Colombian Jose Zambrano. Gardiner said afterwards, his campaign went according to plan.

“I went through the rounds perfectly each day and I can’t believe I am a world champion. It feels pretty good,” said the soft-spoken sprinter who only took up athletics at age 16.

His gold medal came a day after teammate Shaunae Miller-Uibo ran a new personal best, national record and area record of 48.37s for the silver medal in the 400m on Thursday.

The medals, he said, were for the people of the Bahamas devastated by the recent hurricane that claimed an estimated 50 people and left 70,000 residents of the Abacos Islands struggling to piece together the remnants of their shattered lives.

“It’s so big to win two medals for The Bahamas after the hurricane. We did it for our country. Thank God, we were able to get two medals,” he said.

Source: Leighton Levy