Aries Merritt won the 110m hurdles at the London Anniversary Games in 13.09, by Stuart Weir

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Merritt_AriesSF-USOut17.jpGAries Merritt, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 110 meter hurdles are an event that requires speed, hurdling skills and focus. The event is one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive on the men's side of athletics. Off a half step, hit a hurdle and you rcould be out of the hunt.

Aries Merritt won the Muller Anniversary Games 110 meter hurdles with a fine 13.09 win! Here's Stuart Weir's fifth of five stories on the London Diamond League!

Aries Merritt won the 110m hurdles at the London Anniversary Games in 13.09.

He said afterwards: "I was pleased with my finish but my start wasn't so good. I still have things to work on. I need to work on my speed and to get that start sorted. I feel strong. I can get under 13 seconds for sure. I feel I am running well with four weeks to go - I have been doing speed work for two weeks now so it is starting to show. I am really happy with how things are with my training. The fans here are amazing and the stadium is incredible".

To put this in context you have to remember than Aries Merritt has had a tough couple of years. He had a kidney transplant in 2015 and took most of 2016 to recover but now he is back.

Earlier in the year I asked him about his hopes for London 2017. He replied: "Assuming I get through US trials and get to London I would expect to win gold again. London is familiar to me. It is the place where I won my Olympic gold medal and the place where I want to win a World Championship gold medal. I have a number of medals in my arsenal but I do not have a world outdoor gold medal and what better place to get it. London is where I got my Olympic gold and hopefully where I will get my World Championship gold".

He has great memories of London 2012: "The London Olympics for me was a fairy tale. I never imagined that I would go to the Olympics the first time and win the gold medal. I was just blessed to be able to go out and run as fast as I did in my first showing. London 2012 is always going to be a great memory because it is the place where I won the Olympic gold medal".

His memories of London extend far beyond his own personal success: "The London Olympics as a whole was great, the crowds were great. I think the meet was put on well - a well run meet. I think the UK should be very proud of the games they hosted". He actually feels that London hosting the games will increase his chances of success: "London is a place where the people are friendly, the atmosphere is nice, where people like to see you run, compete and do well. People actually care about the sport. All the years I have accumulated a mass of fans there so London is like a second home for me".

Coming back to elite level after major surgery is impressive. As he said "The motto of London 2012 was 'inspire a generation'. I think I have done that. Having booked his place in the 2017 Worlds, he has another opportunity to inspire.

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