400-Meters Hurdles Specialist Rai Benjamin Faces Shocking Defeat to Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medalist in Doha Diamond League

Published 05/13/2022, 1:31 PM EDT
USA’s Rai Benjamin competes in the Men’s 400m Hurdles during the IAAF Diamond League competition on June 6, 2019 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Sports are often unpredictable and when we talk about track and field, the margin of error is very minute. As the American 400m hurdle specialist Rai Benjamin reached the Doha Diamond league for the season, a surprise was waiting for him. However, it was not the kind of surprise he would have anticipated or even wished for.

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EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 26: Rai Benjamin celebrates after the Men’s 400 Meters Hurdles Finals on day nine of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 26, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

After winning the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Rai Benjamin was the top favorite for the Doha Diamond League. In fact, the American hurdler holds the record of being the second-fastest athlete in the history of 400m hurdles. Though this time, he couldn’t perform up to his standards.

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Rai Benjamin shockingly loses the gold medal at Doha

In the biggest upset of the Doha Diamond League, the Olympic silver medalist Rai Benjamin lost the 400m hurdles race to the Olympic bronze medalist Alison dos Santos. Prior to their encounter today, the Brazilian was behind Benjamin with a score of 0–4. However, this time, he easily managed to turn the records in his favor.

Alison dos Santos finished with the world-leading 47.24 seconds on the clock, whereas Rai Benjamin could only manage a second place with 47.49 seconds on the clock.

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Rai was a man on a mission, so what went wrong?

Back in the Tokyo Olympics, when he scored the second-fastest time in the 400m hurdles Rai Benjamin was at the top of the world. The 24-year-old was considered to be one of the best hurdlers the world has ever seen. Going into the season, Rai said, “My outlook for this year?” he paused. “Run a lot faster than I did back in August.”

EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 26: Rai Benjamin celebrates after the Men’s 400 Meters Hurdles Finals on day nine of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 26, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

However, the American couldn’t run faster than the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Alison dos Santos in the Doha Diamond League and missed the gold by 0.25 seconds.

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Saurav Panwar

442 articles

Saurav Panwar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. A postgraduate in Media and Communication Studies, he shares a profound love for creative direction and filmmaking. Saurav is also an avid reader and a literature devotee whose fandom spreads from classics to sci-fi, non-fiction, plays, comics, and much more.

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