Photo: Rann / Splash News

Some big stars are yet to shine at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. One of them is LaShawn Merritt, on whom a lot of expectations are riding. Merritt is an American sprinter who specializes in the individual men’s 400m event. He won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and is one of the big hopes for America here in Rio. People want to know LaShawn Merritt’s height. Merritt is 6’2” and his long legs propel him to run at dizzying speeds to beat the competition. No wonder LaShawn’s net worth is $136.0 million! We are bringing you all the info you need on the American sprinter right here on our LaShawn Merritt wiki page, so keep reading!

The Boy from Norfolk

Merritt comes from Portsmouth, Virginia in the U.S.A. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and then studied at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He studied business administration at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. He then plunged (feet first) into his sprinting career.

Rewards Come Early

Merritt was rewarded with success early. He won the gold medal in the 400m event at the 2004 World Junior Championships in Athletics. In the same event, he set junior world records in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relay races. After he joined the senior circuit, Merritt won medals at several World Championships, including the silver at the 2007 edition in Osaka. His rivalry with fellow American, Jeremy Wariner became a talking point in the world of athletics.

The Duel

When Merritt and Wariner met at the 2008 Beijing Olympics 400m final, people were expecting an epic race. However, Merritt beat Wariner by 0.99 seconds to win the gold medal. His time of 43.75 seconds made it the fifth fastest time ever recorded in this event. Wariner however, has the third fastest time in this event. So, the rivalry continued. Merritt then teamed up with Wariner to win the 4 x 400m relay gold medal in a record breaking time frame. Their time of 2:55.39 is the second fastest time ever recorded!

Caught Doping

In April 2010, shocking news broke Merritt’s dream run. He tested positive for the banned steroid Dehydroepiandosterone several times. Merritt claimed that he was regularly using the over-the-counter penis enlargement product, ExtenZe which contained this banned steroid. He said that he had not read the fine print on the product. He was given a two year ban which was later reduced to 21 months. What a blow to the….ego!

Starting Over Again

Upon his return to the track, Merritt won the silver medal in the 400m at the 2011 World Championships. He also helped the U.S. to win the 4 x 400m relay by running the fastest in the final leg. However, a hamstring injury prevented him from completing the race in the 2012 Olympics qualifying heats. Unfortunately, Merritt did not get a chance to run in the 400m final in order to defend his medal.

LaShawn Merritt’s Net Worth

In the last three years, Merritt has performed very well at the World Championships. He has won the 400m event once and the 4 x 400m relay event four times. People often ask, “What is LaShawn Merritt’s net worth?” It is a huge $136.0 million! That includes the value of his stocks, properties, yachts and private airplanes.

Gold Medal Again?

Merritt is peaking as a runner and is expected to be one of the contenders for the 400m gold medal. But the doping incident has taken some of the shine off his otherwise glittering career. The 2016 Rio Olympics is the perfect stage to get rid of the demons that are haunting Merritt. If he wins the gold it would be one of the best comebacks in Olympic history. America is rooting for him. Will Merritt deliver? We’ll find out soon!