Aries Merritt has been on a roll this year. In Istanbul, he caught and defeated Liu Xiang for the World Indoor hurdles gold. In the Olympic Trials in June he ran sub 13 twice in one day. He also won the Trials.
By the time he got to the final, he had run 12.94. In the final, he was perfection, running against Dayron Robles, Jason Henderson, Jeff Porter. Liu Xiang had been hurt in the first round, hitting the first hurdle and injuring his achilles tendon.
The hurdles is fraught with injuries, and good days and bad days, what would it be for Aries Merritt?
Aries Merritt, by PhotoRun.net
Aries Merritt ran 12.94 in his semi-final, his fourth sub 12.95 time in one season, 2012. Jason Richardson looked good, as did a recovering Dayron Robles of Cuba.
In the final, Aries Merritt got out well, and he just executed. Merritt runs oh so close over the hurdles, hits the ground and charges the next hurdle. He did not stop, and as he ran, he got farther and farther away from everyone.
Jason Henderson, Aries Merritt and Dayron Robles were running close to each other at 50 meters, when Robles slowed down, grabbed his hamstring and stoppped. He was eventually disqualified.
Merritt said, " I heard a groan, but just kept going. I was going to run through the finish." And that is what he did. Merritt ran 12.92, his personal best, to take the gold medal, his first Olympic medal.
2011 World Champion Jason Richardson ran a good race and took the silver, running 13.04. The Jamaican, Parchment, ran 13.12, a NR, continuing to improve his technique and speed.
This night belonged to Aries Merritt, a talented hurdler, who finally believed in himself, focused on the prize and achieved his dreams.
110m hurdles, 1. Aries Merritt, USA, 12.92, PB, 2. Jason Richardson, USA, 13.04, 3. Parchment, JAM, 13.12, NR, 4.L. Clarke, GBR, 13.39, 5.Brathwaite, BAR, 13.40, 6.Ortego, Cub, 13.43, 7. Fourie, RSA, 13.53, 8. Robles, CUB, DQ, #london2012, #olympics