This is article 3 from Brussels, from Stuart Weir, which is on the 110m hurdles.
The men’s 110m hurdles was a race I was looking forward to. The absence of Olympic and World Champion, Omar McLeod, was a disappointment. This was compounded by the inability of Daniel Roberts to get to Brussels because of the disruptions to flights on the East coast of USA this week.
I took advice in writing this article from two former world-record holders at the distance. Colin Jackson told me: “The men’s sprint hurdles is really interesting this year. It’s a bit of a mixed bag with the youngsters from the United States doing well and coming through, the then you’ve got the experience of Omar McLeod, world and Olympic champion. So you would wonder whether his experience will shine. It will be interesting to see but if you ask me to place a bet, it would be on Omar”.
Renaldo Nehemiah told me: “There’s a lot of parity in the hurdles at the moment. There is no dominant hurdler out there and there hasn’t been for a while, which is probably good. The Russian [Sergey Shubenkov] looked as if he might dominate. There are a couple of good young Americans, there are always good Europeans like Ortega”.
Well, in the absence of McLeod, Orlando Ortega won in 13:22 from Ronald Levy (13:31) with Sergey Shubenkov (13:33). Freddie Crittenden, one of those young Americans was fourth.
Renaldo Nehemiah added one rather critical comment on the state of men’s sprint hurdling, saying: “One of the disappointments I have seen over the past few years is that they’re not too many hurdlers out there. There are sprinters running over hurdles but not too many guys who are honing their craft so that there are more hurdles up than down. Over the past decade the emphasis has been on speed and power rather than on the actual art form. I always tell people that if you master the art form, the running bit is easy. But today they want to have brute speed”.
An interesting perspective.