July 18, 2002
Kingston, Jamaica – Finishing off a stellar freshman season, individually, South Carolina’s Jon Fortenberry (Marietta, Ga.) won the silver medal tonight in the 400m at the World Junior Track and Field Championships.
It is USC’s first medal of the Championships. Fortenberry ran a time of 45.73 to win the silver.
“I was coming around the third curve and I saw Darold and I wanted to give it all I could. You really can’t train for that last 100m, but I am thankful to God, he brought me through,” said Fortenberry, who attended Marietta High School in Atlanta. “I am pleased with the medal and hopefully one day I will be a champion. Darold didn’t get out real hard so about 270 I moved in. At the 170 mark I started to make my move and at the 80m mark, I just gave it my all. Darold and Jermaine competed like real champions. I am thrilled to win this medal.”
“Jon raced the way a champion should. He did not run to finish second, he ran to win. I feel like if he had a tie-up and finished last, I would have still come over and hugged him because he competed like a champion,” said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. “I am proud of him. One day he will be a champion. My heart goes out and I am thrilled, I feel blessed. I am proud he is a Gamecock and a member of the US team. The USA is going to see a great deal of Jon Fortenberry. One day he will be a champion.”
Later in the week Fortenberry will compete on the USA’s 4x400m relay. Fortenberry ran his race plan perfectly, kicking in the last 80 meters after watching Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales (Jamaica), who finished with the bronze. The gold medalist was the USA’s Darold Williamson at 45.37.