World Champs Women’s 100 Hurdles — She Can Go Long Too

Twice a world champ indoors over 60m, Nia Ali stepped up for her first gold at the longer outdoor distance. (ANDREW McCLANAHAN/PHOTO RUN)

RIO SILVER MEDALIST Nia Ali led a U.S. 1–2 after drawing away from the two favorites—Jamaica’s Danielle Williams and fellow American Keni Harrison—in the second half of the race. Ali finished in a PR 12.34, making her =No. 9 of all time. Harrison, who set the WR of 12.20 three years ago, took silver—the best outdoor placing of her international championships career so far—in 12.46. Williams, the ’15 world champion who tops the yearly list at 12.32, took bronze in 12.47. Ali’s 12.34 took a full 10th off the PR she had set in the semis, and that mark had replaced a lifetime best of 12.48 that dated all the way back to ’13.

The focus of the final had initially been on Williams (lane 5) and Harrison (6), but it was the dynamic figure of Ali (4), already taking control by the second barrier. Her hair dyed a reddish-orange, she was the center of attention as she powered away over the final 5 hurdles to add another gold to the World Indoor titles she had collected in ’14 and ’16.

“It’s super-special,” said the winner, who returned to the sport this year giving birth to her second child last summer. “I never won a world outdoor championship before. To be able to perform at my best—I am ecstatic. Shelly-Ann [Fraser-Pryce], Allyson [Felix]—all the ladies who have come back from childbirth are surely an inspiration for me and I am so excited to be able to pull off the world title. It was so inspirational for me to watch Shelly-Ann win the 100m here.”

For her part, Harrison, 4th in ’17, said, “I just wanted to get to the line and get a medal. I’m so glad an American was able to go out and conquer. It’s my first medal. I knew I had to give my best. For me it’s just about getting back up onto the world stage. I’m so grateful to have made it.”

Williams said, “I am happy with bronze but obviously it was not what I expected. The race was very competitive, as I wanted. We all know the hurdles are the tricky ones. I am very happy for Nia, it was great for her.”

Tobi Amusan, who had qualified for the final in a Nigerian Record of 12.48, took 4th at 12.49, ahead of Andrea Vargas, whose time of 12.64 was a Costa Rican Record. It was the second NR of the day for Vargas, who had run 12.65 in the semis.

Third American Brianna McNeal, the reigning Olympic champion, had a disaster in the heats, committing an obvious false start. “Well of course I am very heartbroken by this mistake that I made,” said the ’13 winner. “After not having the best season my only goal was to come out here and redeem myself. My focus and training was wired around this very moment but unfortunately I lost focus for just a millisecond and it cost me an opportunity to be a world champion again. This year and this very moment have taught me some valuable lessons. What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger and I am grateful for that. My faith will always prevail.”


WC WOMEN’S 100 HURDLES

FINAL

(October 06; wind +0.3) (temperature 75F/24C; humidity 64%)

1. Nia Ali (US) 12.34 PR (AL) (=9, =19 W; =4, =6 A);

2. Keni Harrison (US) 12.46;

3. Danielle Williams (Jam) 12.47;

4. Tobi Amusan (Ngr) 12.49;

5. Andrea Carolina Vargas (CR) 12.64 NR;

6. Nadine Visser (Hol) 12.66;

7. Janeek Brown (Jam) 12.88;

… dnf—Megan Tapper (Jam).

(best-ever mark-for-place: =4)

Lanes: 2. Visser; 3. Vargas; 4. Ali; 5. Williams; 6. Harrison; 7. Amusan; 8. Brown; 9. Tapper

Reaction times: 0.127 Williams; 0.140 Harrison; 0.147 Brown & Visser; 0.155 Ali; 0.157 Vargas; 0.209 Tapper; 0.218 Amusan

HEATS

(October 05)

I(0.3)–1. Ali 12.59; 2. Tapper 12.78; 3. Cindy Ofili (GB) 12.97; 4. Génesis Romero (Ven) 13.14;

5. Asuka Terada (Jpn) 13.20; 6. Stanislava Lajčáková (Svk) 13.44; 7. Adrine Monagi (PNG) 14.00;… dnf—Solène Ndama (Fra).

II(0.2)–1. Luminosa Bogliolo (Ita) 12.80; 2. Yanique Thompson (Jam) 12.85; 3. Anne Zagré (Bel) 12.91; 4. Brianna Beahan (Aus) 13.11;

5. Ayako Kimura (Jpn) 13.19; 6. Fanny Quenot (Fra) 13.51;… fs—Brianna McNeal (US).

III(0.4)–1. Williams 12.51; 2. Vargas 12.68 NR; 3. Annimari Korte (Fin) 12.97; 4. Luca Kozák (Hun) 13.00; 5. Beate Schrott (Aut) 13.08;

6. Celeste Mucci (Aus) 13.14; 7. Phylicia George (Can) 13.49.

IV(0.3)–1. Harrison 12.55; 2. Cindy Roleder (Ger) 12.76; 3. Elvira Herman (Blr) 12.84; 4. Reetta Hurske (Fin) 12.96;

5. Gréta Kerekes (Hun) 13.11; 6. Vanessa Clerveaux (Hai) 13.15; 7. Hanna Plotitsyna (Ukr) 13.30; 8. Irina Velihanova (Tkm) 14.79.

V(0.2)–1. Amusan 12.48 PR; 2. Brown 12.61; 3. Visser 12.75; 4. Karolina Kołeczek (Pol) 12.78; 5. Nooralotta Neziri (Fin) 12.92; 6. Rikenette Steenkamp (SA) 12.97; 7. Michelle Jenneke (Aus) 12.98;

8. Laura Valette (Fra) 13.47.

SEMIS

(October 06)

I(1.0)–1. Williams 12.41; 2. Ali 12.44 PR; 3. Visser 12.62 NR;

4. Roleder 12.86; 5. Kozák 12.87; 6. Korte 12.97; 7. Jenneke 13.09; 8. Romero 13.18.

II(0.8)–1. Harrison 12.58; 2. Tapper 12.61 PR;

3. Thompson 12.80; 4. Kołeczek 12.86; 5. Neziri 12.89; 6. Ofili 12.95; 7. Steenkamp 12.96; 8. Bogliolo 13.06.

III(0.6)–1. Amusan 12.48 =PR; 2. Brown 12.62; 3. Vargas 12.65 NR;

4. Herman 12.78; 5. Hurske 13.24; 6. Schrott 13.25; 7. Beahan 13.38;… dq[obstruction]—Zagré. ◻︎

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