Monique Henderson Captures 400m Gold At World Junior Championships

July 19, 2002

Kingston, Jamaica - UCLA freshman Monique Henderson (San Diego, CA/Morse HS) captured the World title in the 400m at the World Junior Track and Field Championships on Thursday evening, turning in a season-best time of 51.10 to defeat U.S. teammate Sanya Richards (51.49).

Henderson and Richards were neck-and-neck coming down the homestretch until Henderson's acceleration with about 25 meters remaining.

'I got out fast, and I knew that Sanya was going to run fast also, so I waited for her to come up on me, and I just tried to run with her and get her in the last hundred,' said Henderson. 'I got adjusted to the track. I love the track, so I felt stronger yesterday and I knew it would be pretty good today.'

Said Richards, 'I just didn't have anything left in me. My legs felt really heavy and she (Henderson) ran a better race than me today, so congratulations to her.'

In winning the world title, Henderson becomes just the second Bruin woman to win an individual world junior championship, joining Shakedia Jones, who won the 100m in 1998, as well as a gold medal in the 4x100m relay. Four other Bruins have captured gold medals in relays - Caryl Smith (1986, 4x100m relay), Janeene Vickers (1986, 4x400m relay), Cicely Scott (1994, 4x400m relay) and Andrea Anderson (1996, 4x100m relay).

Henderson has a chance to collect another medal when she races in the 4x400m relay. The semifinals begin Saturday, July 20, and the finals commence Sunday, July 21.

Complete results from the World Junior Track and Field Championships can be accessed on http://www.iaaf.org/WJC02/Results/Byevent.html.

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