September 29, 2022

Matt Hudson Smitha and Muzala Samukonga
Hudson-Smith, rightly, was denied a home gold by the Samukonga eruption

England’s Matt Hudson-Smith was impressively denied Commonwealth gold as Zambia’s Muzala Samukonga won the 400m in the closing stages.

World bronze medalist Hudson-Smith entered the home straight with a decent lead but drew level with the line beckoning.

Zambia’s Samukonga did the opposite, moving up from fourth at 350m to grab the win.

“I walked away with a medal, it’s not the color I wanted,” Hudson-Smith said.

“We got tight on the home straight, so I probably could have done it a bit differently.”

Victoria Ohuruogu, the sister of former world champion and Olympian Christine, took another silver medal for England in the women’s event, with team-mate Jodie Williams securing bronze.

Samukonga levels up to grab the win

Muzala Samukonga received medical treatment after his victory

African champion Samukonga had not broken 45 seconds before arriving in Birmingham, but followed up his personal best run of 44.89 seconds at Wednesday’s heats with a crucial perfect 44.66 in the final.

Elevating the 19-year-old to a new level and a major title has come at a cost.

Physically exhausted, he appeared to collapse on the dance floor as he went to celebrate with his compatriots in the crowd. After being treated by railway officials, he was transferred for further treatment in a wheelchair.

Hudson-Smith spent the immediate aftermath cross-legged on the track, trying to figure out what had happened.

With Bahamas Olympian Steven Gardiner, Grenada’s Kirani James and Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir missing from the final, he was the favorite to win for his home country.

Born in Wolverhampton and raised as an athlete on this circuit, Hudson-Smith made it.

The tactic earned him a medal last month in Eugene but appeared to cost him gold in Birmingham.

Hudson-Smith’s pace dropped dramatically as he looked to close out the win, allowing Samukonga to slip away to a dramatic win.

His time of 44.81 seconds was his fifth fastest of the season so far.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t bring it home,” Hudson-Smith said afterward. “But you were an amazing crowd, thanks to the volunteers, and it was an amazing experience.”

More to come.

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