The hurdle races are always the most difficult races to predict. Just a step off means the difference between gold and sixth in the hurdles. Stuart Weir wrote this piece on the hurdle battles in Glasgow.
Nadine Visser (Netherlands) took the gold in the women’s 60m hurdles in 7.87 from Cindy Roleder (Germany) 7.97 with Elvira Herman (Belarus) third. Visser took bronze in the World Indoors last year – behind Keni Harrison and Christian Manning but ahead of Sharika Nelvis – while Roleder is the defending champion. No surprised it came down to those two.
Visser said: “Being favourite made me feel confident, I do better under pressure. The time in the semis was slower so I knew if I ran a fast race I would get it”, Roleder commented: “I had a bit of a problem with my start. The back half of the race was fine and I am going to have to work a bit on my start. I knew it was going to be close between us and, of course, I wanted to win the gold. I have been making a few changes recently and I hope that is going to pay off soon”.
The men’s hurdles was a shock. Reigning World and European champion, Andi Pozzi was sixth. Having looked good in qualifying, he said that having missed training he had not had enough runs at top speed to be consistent. Orlando Ortega (Cuban born Spaniard) ran 7.57 in the semi-finals but only 7.64 in the final. France took the minor medals through Pascal Martinot-Lagarde 7.61 and Aurel Manga 7.63
The winner was Milan Trajkovic, Serbian born but running for Cyprus, whose time was 7.60. He was a finalist in the World and European Indoors in the past two years. His comment on the race was: “I hit two barriers very, very hard when I was running, and I took a tiny look to my right while finishing and there were just too many bodies around, so I lay on the ground annoyed at myself. And then I saw my name on the board and thought Ã“h, coolÂ´. I am just so proud, proud of myself and proud of my team. IÂ´m so pleased I get to bring this back to my country”. Not the favorite but the one with the gold medal.
As Dawn Harper-Nelson used to say, the winner is the one who gets over all the hurdles and crosses the line first.