Athlete Profiles 

 John Steffensen 

John Steffensen
A niggling injury throughout the 2007/08 season meant John only competed at the Australian championships, finishing the final in second (46.17). He was selected to compete for Australia at his second Olympic Games in both the 400m and 400m relay squad.

The injury trouble continued for John and he made a decision to focus on the relay team in Beijing. Aiming to replicate the silver success of Athens, the team went into the final with high expectations, they ran the second fastest time ever by an Australian team, finishing sixth (3:00.02).

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Date of Birth:
30.08.1982
Discipline:
Sprints
Occupation:
Athlete
Height:
180cm
Weight:
71kg
State:
WA
Coach:
John Smith
Previous Coaches:
Bobby Kersee, Michael Khmel, Lyn Foreman, Anne Masters
Scholarship:
WAIS
Club:
Bankstown Sports Club
Place of Birth/Residence:
Perth, WA / Sydney, NSW and California, USA
Marital Status
Single
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 Further Information 

Competition Stats

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS:
400m: 2002 - heat, 2003 - 5th, 2004 - 3rd, 2005 - 2nd, 2006 - 1st, 2007 - DNC, 2008 - 2nd, 2009 - 2nd

INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS:
World Championships:
2003 - 4 x 400m 3rd heat (split 46.8), 2005 - 400m 8th (45.46), 2007 - 400m 4th semi (44.95), 4 x 400m DNC (inj.)
Olympic Games: 2004 - 4 x 400m 2nd (3:00.60, split 46.12), 2008 – 4 x 400m 6th (3:00.02, split 45.26)
Commonwealth Games: 2006 - 400m 1st (44.73), 4 x 400m 1st (3.00.93, split 45.1)

ANNUAL PROGRESSION:
400 metres:

2002 47.14
2003 46.07
2004 45.63
2005 45.31
2006 44.73
2007 44.82
2008 45.99
2009 45.28

200 metres:
2003 21.75
2004 21.11
2005 20.88
2006 DNC
2007 20.79/20.76w

EVENTS / PERSONAL BESTS:
200 metres:
20.79 - Melbourne, 2/03/07
400 metres: 44.73 - Melbourne, 22/03/06
Long jump:
7.18m (-2.0) - Perth, 2/02/02 [7.28 (+2.5) - Perth, 9/02/02]

Interesting Facts

John's parents enrolled him in Little Athletics when he was seven to get rid of his excess energy. He also enjoyed success as a boxer in his teens.

Sporting Career

2002–2003 – A former long jumper, John made the move from Perth to Sydney in the winter of 2002 to train in Michael Khmel. The relocation paid dividends when, in February 2003, John ran 46.07 and was selected for the world championships in Paris. There he clocked 46.8 on the first leg of the Australian 4x400m relay team, which missed the final by one position.

2004 – John was a big improver during the 2003/04 domestic season and was rewarded with a bronze medal at the nationals in a PB of 45.63 and selection for the Olympics. In Athens he ran the first leg of the 4x400m relay, which in a major surprise won the silver medal.

2005 – Spent the early part of the 2004/05 domestic season training in California under US coach John Smith, returning to place second at the nationals. In May and July, he ran new PBs of 45.45 and 45.31, moving to No.12 on the Australian all-time list. At the 2005 world championships in Helsinki he ran very competitively, progressing to the final to finish eighth in 45.46.

2006 – John ran a PB to win his first national title in 2006 to gain selection for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. He dominated the 400m at the Games, defeating a world-class field in yet another PB of 44.73. He ran an inspiring lead-off leg in the 4x400m relay team to claim a second gold.

2007 – A quiet period followed until he resumed domestic competition in February 2007 with a dashing 45.07 in Sydney. A hamstring injury forced him out of the nationals but he was nonetheless selected for Osaka. At the world championships he finished second in his heat in 44.82 – nearing his personal best time – and progressed to the semi-finals. Despite another sub-45-second run (44.95), John finished fourth and missed a spot in the final. Both his runs in Osaka were inside the previous best time produced by an Australian at the world championships.

2008 – A niggling injury meant John only competed at the Australian championships, finishing second (46.17). He was selected for his second Olympic Games in both the 400m and 400m relay squad. The injury troubles continued and he made a decision to focus on the relay team only. Aiming to replicate the silver success of Athens, the team went into the final with high expectations and ran the second fastest time ever by an Australian team to finish sixth (3.00.02).

2009 – John placed fifth over 400m at the Sydney Track Classic in February then bettered that result with a second placing at the World Athletics Tour Melbourne in March. At the national championships in March John finished second to Sean Wroe in the one-lap event, stopping the clock at 45.51.Taking his ’09 campaign overseas John placed fourth at the Osaka Grand Prix behind Athens gold medallist and reigning world champion Jeremy Wariner (44.69) of the USA. In July John recorded his best time in two years when he clocked 45.28 in Rome.