Athletics-Canadian teenager Morales Williams races to world indoor 400 record

FILE PHOTO: Apr 1, 2023; Austin, TX, USA; Christopher Morales-Williams takes the handoff from Matthew Boling on the third leg of the Georgia Bulldogs 4 x 200m relay that won in a meet record 1:20.22 during the 95th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/File photo

(Reuters) - Canada's Christopher Morales Williams raced to a world indoor record in the 400 metres at the NCAA's Southeastern Conference championships on Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The 19-year-old University of Georgia sophomore flew to a time of 44.49 seconds to break the previous mark of 44.57 set by American Kerron Clement in 2005 on the same track.

Morales Williams shaved nearly a second off his previous best time set earlier in the month.

The Canadian from Vaughan, just north of Toronto, missed two years of high school track when schools were shut during the pandemic. He did daily solo long distance runs during that time for training, working up to 12 kilometres.

Morales Williams chose Georgia largely because of coach Caryl Smith Gilbert, who trained fellow Canadian sprinter and Olympic champion Andre De Grasse at USC.

His record is subject to World Athletics' ratification process.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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