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Olympic champion Clement vows to reclaim 400m hurdles title in London
Last Updated: 2017-08-04 09:37 | Xinhua
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Rio Olympic Games champion Kerron Clement came to London with one goal -- reclaiming the world 400m hurdles title that has eluded him since the 2009 Berlin victory.

Clement was training Wednesday afternoon in the rain at the training ground of the London Stadium, where the American finished eighth at the Olympic Games in 2012 when it was still called the Olympic Stadium.

Returning to London after five years, the 31-year-old aimed at nothing but a gold medal.

"I'm really excited to be here in London once again and the world championships is a great moment for me. I am here going for my gold medal in the 400 hurdles," said the 2007 and 2009 world champion. "So I'm really excited to get started on Sunday."

At 21, Clement mounted the top of the podium at Osaka world championships in 2007 and repeated his achievement two years later in Berlin. His success, however, was followed by a slump of several seasons as he struggled with injury and took a surgery five months before the 2012 London Olympics.

In an earlier interview, the Beijing Olympics silver medalist said going to London 2012 was already "a major achievement for me to simply qualify for the team."

The eighth place finish could not discourage Clement who believed he would eventually have his breakthrough.

"At the 2015 World Championships in Beijing I felt I was edging closer to achieving my goals. I finished fourth in the Bird's Nest Stadium - just 0.01 behind bronze medallist Jeffery Gibson of The Bahamas. It was really exciting to come so close to the medals.

"From that moment on, I knew 2016 would be an amazing year," Clement earlier told the IAAF official website.

Now a Rio Olympic gold medal under his belt, Clement came to London as a hot favorite for the title. The 31-year-old, however, said he would take every opponent seriously.

"I expect it will be a great race. Every athlete is my competitor and I won't take anybody for granted because you will never know what someone will do in the first and second round, so you have to give your best and stay focused," he said Wednesday.

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