Michael Norman, who was raised in Murrieta, won an Olympic gold medal Saturday, running the second leg on the U.S. 4×400 men’s relay team at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
It is the only track gold medal won by U.S. Men at the Tokyo Olympics.
The U.S. was in second, four-tenths of a second behind Botswana, after Michael Cherry ran the opening leg in 44.2 seconds. The U.S. moved into first, 0.38 of a second ahead of Botswana, after Norman ran his leg in 44.0.
On the third leg, Bryce Deadmon ran a 44.01 split for the U.S. to give it a lead of 0.76 of a second over the Netherlands, which passed Botswana to move into second. Rai Benjamin ran the final leg in 43.4 seconds to give the U.S. the victory in 2:55.70, the fourth-fastest time in history.
The Netherlands was second in 2:57.18, .09 ahead of third-place Botswana.
“What a bitter sweet first Olympic experience,” Norman tweeted. “Proud to represent team USA and bring home gold in the men’s 4×4, yet I feel very unaccomplished. What’s done is done but just know I will be back stronger next year.”
Norman finished fifth in the 400 Thursday.
Norman was the Gatorade National Boys’ Track & Field Player of the Year for both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons when he led Vista Murrieta High School to the state championships.
Norman ran for USC in 2017 and 2018, winning the 2018 NCAA outdoor 400 championship in a collegiate-record 43.61 and receiving The Bowerman as the top collegiate track and field athlete.
Norman and Benjamin are the 10th and 11th past or present USC students to win gold medals at the Tokyo Games, joining fellow track and field athletes Andre De Grasse, Kendall Ellis, Allyson Felix and Dalilah Muhammad, beach volleyball player April Ross and water polo players Kaleigh Gilchrist, Stephania Haralabidis, Paige Hauschild and Amanda Longan.