Express & Star

Wolverhampton's Matthew Hudson-Smith shines with Euro best

Matthew Hudson-Smith set a new European 400 metres record with a storming season-opening run at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo.


Wolverhampton-born Hudson-Smith surged clear to win in 44.07 seconds – breaking his own European best of 44.26 set at the 2023 World Championships.

“I knew coming into this. I was in good shape, the plan was to execute and get ready,” said Hudson-Smith.

“I did exactly that and now I’ll get ready for the Europeans and the big one, which is the Olympics.

“I’m going to take it (European Championships) like it is a mini-Olympics. I want to get ready for three rounds and the Europeans is the perfect opportunity to get ready for the Olympics.

“My coach has got a knack of getting ready for the championships, as you can see.We have a plan and we know what we’re capable of, but I’m not going to put a time out there.

“The goal is to get the golds and the medals and as long as I’m healthy I’m in the hunt really and truly.”

In Budapest last August, Hudson-Smith led until the closing stages but was unable to hold off Jamaican Antonio Watson and claim world championship glory.

Nine months on from that painful defeat Hudson-Smith, who was running with his name upside down on his vest, surged out of the blocks at the Bislett Games and powered on in the final straight to win by more than half a second.

Grenada’s Kirani James, the former world and Olympic champion, was second in 44.58 with American Vernon Norwood third in 44.68.

Hudson-Smith spent his formative years at Birmingham’s Birchfield Harriers under the tutelage of Tony Hadley, who also famously coached Derek Redmond, Phil Brown and Du’aine Ladejo.