2010 World Indoor Champs, Day 2: LoLo Jones Wins 60m hurdles!, by Larry Eder



LoLo Jones, 2010 World Indoor Champs, Doha, Qatar, 60 meter hurdles, gold medalist, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The facts are that LoLo Jones defended her 2008 World Indoor Championships title over 60 meter hurdles, setting a championship record and running the fastest time in the world in 2010. The real story is that, without her near disaster in her semi-final, even LoLo admits, she would not have won her gold medal today. Here is the real story:


LoLo Jones, 2010 World Indoor Champs, Doha, Qatar, photo by PhotorRun.net.

In her semi-final, Lo Lo Jones got out well, but gave it all up over the first hurdle, and was nearly out of the race by the second hurdle. Jones fought back and took the last qualifying position for the final, in a dismal 8.04. " If I had not had that meltdown in the semi final, " Jones told a post race interview," I might not have won the final."

The final was a completely different race, and that is how LoLo Jones finally played it. Getting out third (behind Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felician), Jones got out well and over the first hurdle with remarkable vigor.

Hurdlers are tightly wired athletes. They must manage their speed over and between barriers, two very disparate skills, unless you are an elite hurdler.

In the world today, there are about a dozen women hurdlers who can race at this top level. Six of them were in this final, so this race was stacked. Screw up, just like Beijing or Berlin, and there is another hurdler ready to take one's place. This is a tension field world.

LoLo Jones controlled her tension, like she managed her speed between hurdles, building a small lead after the second hurdle and busting the race wide open after fourth. Sprinting into the finish line, LoLo Jones ran a world leading 7.72, breaking the American record of one Gail Devers (2003), who had won three World Indoor titles over 60 meter hurdles. ( We found out later that Gail Dever texted LoLo Jones a congratulatory message after the race!). Besides an American record and championship record, Jones might consider the high jump as her next event! After her race, she nearly leaped to the very top of the pads put in place to stop the hurdlers and sprinters. LoLo Jones, once she knew she had won, nearly walked up a seven foot tall set of pads at the end of the race!

After the race, LoLo Jones told Vicki Oddi, USATF press person these observations:

"Excited is an understatement. I can't believe what I just did, American record, Championship record, first woman to ever win the hurdles back-to-back. It's unbelievable. Because I lost at USA's, that fired me up to come out here and win. I don't even remember the race. I remember at the third hurdle, realizing I was winning and all I could think was don't hit a hurdle!"

In a near perfect race, LoLo Jones put Perdita Felician, one of most medalled and top women hurdlers in the world, into second place. Perdita ran 7.86, a seasonal best for the Canadian hurdler who won her first World title in 2001 in Edmonton!

Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, also of Canada, took third in 7.87, giving Canada two medals in this final, and our friends at Athletics Canada (hello Cecil Smith & John Craig), finally something to brag about besides the senseless slaughter of the US hockey team in overtime during the Winter Olympics.

Anay Tejeda took fourth in 7.91, with Ginnie Powell, the 2010 US indoor champion, in fifth in 7.97. Jamaicas' top hurdlers, Vonette Dixon, and Lacena Golding-Clarke were, sixth (7.99) and seventh (8.02).

But, this race was for LoLo Jones, who became the first women to win consecutive 60 meter hurdle titles! LoLo Jones showed that she is a rarefied hurdler, and we look forward to seeing how fast she can run this summer!

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