Rollins roars into worlds in 100 hurdles
- Published: 23/06/2013 at 07:49 AM
- Online news:
Brianna Rollins served notice she is a force to be reckoned with by matching the fourth-fastest 100m hurdles time in history at the US Athletics Championships.
Brianna Rollins poses with the sign board after setting a new American Record of 12.26 seconds in the Women's 100 Meter Hurdles final on day three of the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on June 22, 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa. Rollins served notice she is a force to be reckoned with by matching the fourth-fastest 100m hurdles time in history.
Running in her first US outdoor nationals, Rollins booked a berth at the World Championships by posting a dominant victory in a time of 12.26 seconds.
The fastest time the event has seen since 1992 immediately caught the eye of world and Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia.
"Looks like I am bringing my A++ game to worlds this year with Brianna Rollins just running 12.26," Pearson said on Twitter.
Only Bulgarian Yordanka Donkova, who set the world record of 12.21 in 1988, and compatriot Ginka Zagorcheva have run faster.
"I just feel so overwhelmed, so emotional," Rollins said. "It is so amazing."
The 21-year-old, who until turning professional this month was competing for Clemson University, improved on her own season-leading time of 12.39.
She ran under that in both the heats and semi-finals, but both times were wind-aided. Rollins finally got a legal wind of 1.2 meters per second in the final and flew to an American record.
Queen Harrison was a distant second in 12.43 and Nia Ali third in 12.48 to claimed the final berth for the World Championships in Moscow on August 10-18.
Lolo Jones' hard luck in big events continued. The hometown favorite, who endured disappointment at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, was fifth.
Dawn Harper, who has a bye into the worlds as the Diamond League 100m hurdles winner last season, opted out of the semi-finals and final.
Rollins, whose best 100m hurdles time prior to this season was 12.70, has now established herself as a contender against the likes of Harper and Pearson.
It's heady stuff for an athlete who only took up running in high school "because someone told me I was fast."
She opted for hurdles "because I thought it was interesting and fun to do."
Rollins' scintillating performance was one of three world-leading performances on Saturday.
Olympic silver medallist Brigetta Barrett won the women's high jump with a season-leading 2.04m, and said she thought she could have jumped higher but followed her coach's instructions to stand pat and keep her eyes on Moscow.
Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley became the first man this year to break 48 seconds in the 400m hurdles, winning with a time of 47.96.
Former world champion Kerron Clement was second in 48.06 and Bershawn Jackson third in 48.09.
Sensational 17-year-old Mary Cain booked a World Championships berth with a strong runner-up finish to veteran training partner Treniere Moser in the women's 1,500m.
LaShawn Merritt, who has battled back from a doping ban since winning 400m Olympic gold in 2008, posted a dominant victory in the 400m in 44.21sec, with Tony McQuay second in 44.74 and Arman Hall third in 45.01.
But Sanya Richards-Ross, who made a belated return to competition this season after right toe surgery in wake of her Olympic 400m triumph in London, missed out.
Richards-Ross, running in sneakers because her spikes hurt her toe, dug deep on the final turn but settled for sixth place in a race won by Natasha Hastings in 49.94. Francena McCorory was second and Ashley Spencer third.
Olympic champion and world record-holder Ashton Eaton won the decathlon with a points total of 8,291 to punch his ticket to Moscow.
Brittney Reese, a two-time world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medallist in the long jump, fouled out on three attepts to see her run of five straight national titles end.
Reese said she was hindered by a hip injury in the competition won by Janay DeLoach (6.89m), but expected to be at full strength in time to use her bye in Moscow.
Tyson Gay, fresh from winning the 100m in 9.75sec on Friday, booked his berth in Sunday's 200m semis, although 100m runner-up Justin Gatlin opted out of the 200 with a hamstring strain.
Olympic champion and world record-holder Aries Merritt moved smoothly into the 110m hurdles semi-finals with the fourth-fastest qualifying time.
He was running his first race since pulling up at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai in May with what proved to be a right hamstring injury.
"I feel fine," he said. "There's no problems, all systems go."
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency