Great Britain’s Matt Hudson-Smith targeted global glory after smashing the European 400m record.
The 28-year-old continued his bid to improve on last year’s bronze medal by reaching Thursday’s 400m final at the World Championships.
He ran an impressive semi to win in 44.26 seconds, a new personal best, on Tuesday in Budapest. He also broke the event’s 36-year European record, set by Thomas Schonlebe in 1987.
European record 👏
Matthew Hudson-Smith clocks 44.26 to break the European 400m record that has stood for 35 years 😎
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) August 22, 2023
“I will be happy when I get that medal, as for (the record), that is just job done,” said Hudson-Smith.
“Coach told me to execute 300m and make sure the job was done, and then when I knew I was clear, I was saving something for the final, and I did that. I just need to get that medal now.
“My coach told me beforehand to enjoy it. He said ‘have you done this before?’ and ‘do you feel like you deserve to be here?’
“I have worked too damned hard to not get to the final. So I am really happy to have made it and it is all about getting that medal on Thursday.”
Wayde van Nierkerk, the 2016 Olympic and double world champion, needed a fastest loser spot after coming third in his heat.
There was also pride for Laura Muir, despite a sixth-placed finish in the 1500m final.
The Scot ran three minutes 58.58 seconds as defending champion Faith Kipyegon took the title at the National Athletics Centre.
Muir has endured a difficult build-up to the Championships when, along with Jemma Reekie, they split with long-term coach Andy Young in March.
She was surprisingly beaten by Katie Snowden to the British title last month but was fifth at the bell in an intense race before settling for sixth.
“I feel I lost a lot of time with the (coaching) disruption,” she said. “I wasn’t clawing it back but I needed to get into a new rhythm and reset. It took a lot out of me and we saw that in some races this year. It’s looking positive.
“It’s been very, very hard. It’s very different. I’ve been used to a certain situation for 12 years. It’s different but it’s very positive. It’s going to take time. You can’t rush these things.
“It’s not an excuse for the way I ran today. I’m proud of the way I ran. I did the best I could.”
Snowden and Melissa Courtney-Bryant were eighth and 12th respectively, while Max Burgin opened his 800m campaign with a comfortable second place in his heat.
The Brit clocked one minute 14.43s and team-mates Dan Rowden and Ben Pattison joined him in the semi-finals.
Burgin said: “It feels like a long time coming. It has been frustrating missing all these major championships over the last couple of years, so it feels great that I have finally made it.
“I made it to the start line and got into the semis, so it’s already an improvement on last year.
“I am in good shape and hopefully I will have more to give in the next round. I felt as good as I did in London (Diamond League) today, so it is a good sign.”
Cindy Sember also reached the 100m hurdles semi-finals in a time of 12.83s but Jessie Knight failed to make the 400m hurdles final.