LaShawn Merritt

Country: USA
Date of Birth: 06/27/1986
First Olympics: 2008, Beijing

After winning two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, LaShawn Merritt failed to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012 because of a hamstring injury. This Olympics, the Portsmouth, Virginia, native is healthy and set to compete in the 400-meter race.

Merritt ran 400 meters faster than 44 seconds in 2007 -- the ninth man ever to accomplish that feat. He ran the second-fastest indoor time ever (44.93 seconds) as a senior in high school, setting a World Junior record.

Merritt won the gold medal for the 400-meter race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a .99-second margin of victory -- the largest margin in the 400-meter final since 1896. He teamed up with fellow American and rival Jeremy Wariner to claim the gold for the 4x400-meter relay in Beijing.

Merritt graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 2004. He lives in Suffolk, Virginia.

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