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Merrit shows his worth with 110 meter hurdles win

08-09-2012 04:56 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Aries Merritt ran a personal best of 12.92 to win the gold medal as the United States took 1-2 in the final of the 110 meters hurdles.

Merritt got a flying start and held off the challenge of world champion Jason Richardson and Jamaica's Hansle Parchment to secure what in the end was a comfortable win. It is the first gold medal that the US have taken in the event since Allen Johnson took gold in Atlanta in 1996.

It was a race that lived up to the expectations that had been raised earlier in the evening.

Although they were missing Liu Xiang, who injured his Achilles tendon in the heats, the semifinals run earlier in the evening had pointed to something special in the final as world champion Merritt broke 13 seconds to run 12.94, just one hundredth of a second outside his personal best.

That sent a loud message to reigning Olympic champion and world record holder, Dayron Robles, who had said in an interview prior to the Games that 12.95 would win gold.

Robles responded well to win his semifinal in 13.12, while world champion Jason Richardson came through his heat in complete control.

That set the stage for the main event later in the night and Merritt was fastest out of the blocks along with Robles. The Cuban then clipped a hurdle and appeared to damage a hamstring, forcing him out of the race.

By then Merritt had already pulled clear and although he dipped as he crossed the line, he had a big lead over Richardson as he set a new personal best.

Robles had been proved wrong in his race prediction.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

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