Series13 Jul 2015

Personal bests – Javier Culson


Puerto Rican 400m hurdler Javier Culson (© Getty Images)

Two-time world400m hurdles silver medallist Javier Culson boasts a proud international record that also includes an Olympic bronze medal.

Here the Puerto Rican athlete answers questions about some areas of his life that matter most to him.

My greatest achievement in athletics

My best results came in 2012 when I ran below 48 seconds four times in the 400m hurdles and won a bronze medal at the London Olympics. The 2012 season was very successful, I was consistently running 47 seconds and I finished that season winning the Diamond Race.

My best race

My best race actually came at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where I made history by becoming the first Puerto Rican to win a World Championships medal. I had made the semi-finals at my first World Championships two years before in Osaka and this left me with a desire to make the final, so I worked very hard for the next World Champs.

In 2009 I was not known. I had no sponsors, but I did have the opportunity to connect with Michael Johnson as my manager. With his help, I was able to access more international competitions which enabled me to win a silver medal at the World Championships.

The best piece of coaching advice

One of the many pieces of advice that my coach Cano Amil has given me is that I should learn to trust in myself and in my performance. It’s important for me to trust in myself in order for me to reach my objectives.

My greatest rival

My greatest rival is the watch.

The best athlete I have ever seen

Edwin Moses (the 1976 and 1984 Olympic champion) is the best in history in my event for his 122 undefeated races and his ability to consistently run sub-48-second races. I had the honour of meeting Edwin at the London Olympics.

My greatest disappointment

The worst moment in my career was at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico in 2010. I was the pre-event favourite, my country had high expectations of me, yet I did not achieve that goal. I was not able to win the race and I had to accept finishing second.

My favourite venue

Monaco is a place where I love to compete. It is a luxurious country with history, and it is surrounded by things that I am passionate about, such as luxury cars and yachts.

My best pre-competition song 

I don’t have a specific song but I try to listen to a song that motivates me.

My best achievement outside of athletics

My best moment outside of athletics is being a father and spending time with my daughter, although my sporting commitments limit the time I can spend with her and my family.

Steve Landells for the IAAF