London 2012 hurdles preview: Women’s 100-meter is the race to watch
LODON–The finals of the women’s 100-meter hurdles, one of the most awaited races of these Olympic Games, will be at 4 p.m. EDT. Americans Dawn Harper, Lolo Jones, and Kellie Wells are hot favorite to make the finals. Harper and Jones are expected to medal.
Jones, from Iowa, is the athlete everyone is watching. She’s made a dramatic comeback since her substandard fall in Beijing, where she had been expected to win gold, but abrupt a hurdle and fell back to seventh place. Since then, Jones has suffered injuries, and mostly considered it unlikely that she would even qualify for the London Games.
Harper, from Illinois, took up where Jones left off in 2008, winning the gold medal after Jones slipped. Since then, Harper has made a comeback of her own. After undergoing her second knee surgery in 2011, she took the bronze medal at the world championships, and ran a personal best of 12.47 seconds. Harper stood first at the US Olympic trials.
Wells, from Virginia, is also a powerful hurdler. She won the 2011 US outdoor championships with a personal best of 12.50, but early in 2012 she broke her arm. Wells was able to heal and returned back, taking second position` at the US trials. This will be her first time to participate in the Olympic Games.
After Jones fell at the Beijing Games and Harper took gold, Aussie Sally Pearson won the silver medal. Pearson hasn’t looked back since. In 2009, she won five out of the seven races she ran. In 2010, Pearson took first position at the Commonwealth Games in India.
Then at the 2011 world championships where Harper took bronze, Pearson finished first with a stunning time of 12.28, the fourth-fastest time in the history of the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Pearson has proved herself a strong hurdler; she has had remarkable times all year, and of her last 33 races prior to the London Games, she has lost only one.
In round one of the women’s 100-meter hurdles the three Americans and the Aussie had some of the best times. Harper ran a 12.65, Jones ran a 12.68, Wells ran a 12.54, and Pearson ran a 12.40. The semifinals are Tuesday at 2:15 p.m, Eastern time.
The semifinals for the men’s 110-meter hurdles are Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. and the finals are at 4:15 p.m. Americans Aries Merritt, Jeff Porter, and Jason Richardson will all compete.
In other Olympic track and field news, the finals for the men’s discus throw is also Tuesday at 2:45 p.m., and the men’s 1500-meter race is at 4:15 p.m. American Matt Centrowitz, from Maryland, will run in the 1500-meters.
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