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Wariner Turns Pro After 1,600 Relay Win

August 29, 2004

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Jeremy Wariner decided it was the right time to turn pro after winning two Olympic gold medals. Wariner announced his decision Saturday night after taking gold with the 1,600-meter relay team, adding to the gold he won in the 400.

Wariner, 20, plans to stay at Baylor to continue his education. Classes start next week.

``I’ve done all I can do. Now it’s time for me to step to the next stage and see what I can do there,″ Wariner said.

Wariner also pulled the double earlier this year at the NCAA outdoor championships, winning the 400 and helping Baylor take the 1,600 relay. He also won the U.S. Olympic trials and led a 1-2-3 finish in the 400 earlier this week.

He will stay with Baylor coach Clyde Hart, who also guided Michael Johnson to Olympic gold.

``I think it’s the right decision,″ Hart said. ``He has a window of opportunity of about 10-12 years, and every year he delays it something could happen. He has a rare opportunity. If he had come in here and had a good meet he still would have gotten good offers.

``But now with two gold medals, it’s an opportunity you can’t pass up. I certainly understand that and I’m very supportive of it.″

Wariner said he started thinking about turning pro after the NCAA season, but made the final decision during the Olympics. He has not signed any endorsement deals yet, but will talk to Nike, Adidas and Reebok next week.

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