It was an extra special Friday night in Lyon, France at the IPC Athletics World Championships for IMG Academy trainee David Prince. Yes, it included Prince copping the bronze medal in the Combined T-43/44 400m, adding to his Paralympic bronze in the 400m from London 2012 and his Silver medal finish with a Personal Best performance last Sunday in the T-44 200m.
What Prince wasn't aware of as he took his mark in lane three was his coach, Loren Seagrave, IMG Academy Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, received a text from Prince's wife that she was about to give birth to his son.
Opting to keep Prince focused on the task at hand, Seagrave sent his charge out on the track with final instructions.
Prince charged from the blocks and executed well through the line to produce his second best effort of the year, capturing the bronze. Prince set the world record for T-44 Class, single leg below the knee amputees. Finishing ahead of Prince was the new world record holder in the 200m T-43, Alan Oliveira of Brazil, and Prince's countryman, Blake Leaper, London silver medalist in the 400m.
At the world championships, T-43 and T-44 athletes compete separately in the 100m and 200m, but in the 400m the classes are combined.
After the race, Seagrave passed his phone over a fence in the neutral zone so David could have a word before his wife went into the delivery room.
The award ceremony for the 400m did not follow immediately after the event. The next morning, after Prince collected his hardware, he set off to the airport to return to Sarasota to join his wife and newborn son for a well deserved off-season rest.