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U.S. Olympic Trials 2012: Merritt and Richardson smash the 13-second barrier
July 2, 2012Posted by on
The U.S. Olympic Trials highlighted the fact that the United States’ historical dominance in sprint hurdling. The semis and the finals of the cutthroat Olympic qualifying event saw Jason Richardson run 12.98s twice. Aries Merritt, the 2012 World Indoor Champion, ran 13.01s in the semis.
Merritt, who had been in the shadows of his more illustrious competitors for the longest time, stopped the clock at 12.93s. These were Merritt’s and Richardson’s first wind-legal forays below 13 seconds (Merritt ran a wind-aided 12.96s at the Prefontaine Classic this year).
I’m particularly happy for Merritt. It’s high time he gets the recognition he deserves. With his performance at the Olympic Trials, he has drawn level with hurdling great Renaldo Nehemiah in the all-time list. Merritt is now the fourth-fastest American in the 110m hurdles, behind David Oliver (12.89s), Dominique Arnold (12.90s), and Allen Johnson (12.91s).
As the Olympics draw near, it is great to finally see two of the event’s elite barge into the exclusive sub-13 group.