The final individual event of the championships was the 100m hurdles. The event was full of drama, but, unlike the men’s, the actual finish was not dissected and an alternative history added. My fave 2 lines of ANYTHING written at the champs are in this column. The first two lines below, by a warmed up Stuart Weir, are, well, glorious.
Women’s sprint hurdles
The good news about the women’s sprint hurdles is that everyone placed where they finished. None of the speculative nonsense as in the men’s race as to where someone might have finished had the moon been in a better place. Megan Tapper hit the first hurdle and stopped but there was no Ortega-style redemption from the officials. The 2019 women’s sprint hurdles race was very open. None of the medallists from London were there to defend. Sally Pearson, Dawn Harper-Nelson had both retired and Pamela Dutkiewicz was also absent. Reigning Olympic Champion, Brianna McNeal, false-started in the prelim.
An interesting comparison to 2017 is that Sally Pearson’s winning time in London of 12.59, would only have got fifth place in Doha with five women running under 12.50.
The two favorites looked to be world record holder, Keni Harrison and former world champion,Danielle Williams. Williams, the 2015 World Champion and the 2019 Diamond League champion is in the form of her life. She won the MÃ¼ller Anniversary Games in London this year, running two PRs in an afternoon. Williams was also involved in a Jamaican farce in the national championships when she called for a false start, disputed it, asked to run under protest and was denied. Then the authorities decided not to run the final at all but to select on semi-final times, but excluding Williams. Williams only made the World Championship by winning the Diamond League.
Laura Muir had asked in disbelief how she could run the W1500 in 3:55 and finish fifth. Tobi Amusan must similarly have been shaking her head at running 12.49 in the 100m hurdles and be outside the medals!
The result was
1 Nia Ali 12.34
2 Keni Harrison 12.46
3 Danielle Williams 12.47
Williams had a poor start. According Jon Mulkeen she has started faster 5 times this year – and he would know. Williams had run 12.41 in the semi but that was not going to be a winning time in this final. Harrison, Williams, Nia Ali and Amusan were in contention but it was Ali who crossed the line a meter ahead of her rivals, stopping the clock at a lifetime best of 12.34. Ali is a two-time 60m hurdles World Indoor champion and an Olympic silver medallist but few saw the big PR coming.
Ali is an appropriate 2019 winner as a mom of two, keeping the super-mum theme going. She was accompanied by the children on her lap of honour and she picked up the theme afterwards: “This is super special. I have never won an outdoor world title, I am ecstatic. Shelly-Ann, Allyson, all the ladies who have come back from child birth are an inspiration for me and I am so excited to be able to pull of the world title. I’ve been training really hard coming back from having my kids. This has been extra motivation and my family has been amazing support all year.“
Harrison said of her silver medal finish: “I just wanted to get to the line and get a medal. I’m so glad an American was able to go out and conquer. It’s my first (outdoor) medal. This means so much, to represent USA again. For me it’s just about getting back up on to the world stage. I’m lost for words, but I’m so grateful to have made it”.
Williams commented: “I am happy with the bronze but obviously it was not what we expected. The race was very competitive. We all know the hurdles is a tricky event. I am very happy for Nia, it was great for her. I had no doubt I would be here and be on the podium.”