LaShinda Demus, 2011 WC, 400m hurdles, gold medalist, photo by PhotoRun.net
LaShinda Demus was the American Junior record record for the 400 meter intermediate hurdles, In 2005 and 2007, she came within two hurdles to taking the gold in the World Champs. She was not about to miss this opportunity.
Demus ran a flawless race. Most importantly, she ran her last two hurdle segments with perfection and came off the final hurdle in the lead, running the third fastest time of all times, setting the American record for the 400 mete hurdles, running 52.47 (there previous American record, which was also a world record, was set by Kim Batten in 1995, in Gothenburg, Sweden, which was 52.61)!
Melanie Walker of Jamaica was the silver medalist. The World and Olympic champion (2009, 2008), ran 52.73, her seasonal best. In the bronze position, Natalya Antyukh of Russia ran 53.85.
Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, who has been hot all summer, took fourth in 54.01. Anastasiya Rabenchenyuk of the Ukraine ran 54.18, her seasonal best, in fifth place. In sixth place, Vaian Stambolova of Bulgaria, who looked so good in the rounds, ran 54.23.
LaShinda Demus told mixed zone reporter Gary Morgan : ” I knew she was there (Walker). I ran for my twins, my mother, my father and my family. I pulled through. I focused, my mother (her coach), prepared me. I executed today. Typical problems of being an athlete, the little aches and pains and I run less races as I am getting older. I only did six races this year, as compared to ten or twelve in previous years. It feels so good to win, after all of these years. I am excited to get the American record. Waiting has been torture. This I vowed not to hit anything, no messing up. I just executed. My husband and agent are here. My mother is Yolanda Demus Rich.”
Yolanda Demus Rich told Gary: ” LaShinda started hurdling at the age of nine”. Demus has been a child prodigy. She has run the hurdles so long that we have expected her to win everything in sight. This is her first world Championship gold ! We hope that it is the first of many.
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