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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Women's 100 m hurdles



Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top four in each heat advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 17, 2008 Format: Top two in each heat and next six fastest advanced to the semi-finals.
Date Finished: August 19, 2008  
(Competitors: 32; Countries: 23; Finalists: 8)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF   2008_olympic_stadium.jpg 
For the third time in four Olympics, the favourite came to grief in the final. That favourite was Jones, undefeated for two months prior to the Games, and with a scintillating windy 12.29 at the US trials. After a 12.71 heat, which was bettered by Jamaican heat winners Vonette Dixon and Foster-Hylton (both 12.69), Jones flowed to a semi-final win in 12.43, nearly two tenths quicker then the next-fastest qualifier. In the final, McLellan was fastest away, and Jones only took the lead coming off the fourth hurdle. Harper, the least fancied of the Americans, was closest to Jones by the fifth barrier, and was less than a metre behind when Jones hit the ninth hurdle with her lead leg and faltered. Harper went by her immediately, and led by a metre across the tenth barrier, with six women level behind her. Jones, still losing momentum, finished seventh, as McLellan just held off the fast-finishing Lopes-Schliep, withjust 0.02 seconds covering second to sixth. Harper, possibly the most surprising winner in Beijing summed it up perfectly “it’s so surreal, it’s so amazing”. “Stuff happens,” concluded Jones. “Lots of people have been trying to put words in my mouth into why I tripped but I can’t give a clear explanation.” She gained admiration by waiting in the stadium to congratulate Harper as her compatriot finished her lap of honour.
Summary by      
The last two World Championships had been won by Michelle Perry (USA), but she had struggled all year with an injured hamstring and did not get past the semi-finals at the US Trials. In her absence the favorite was another American, Lolo Jones, who had had the best year in 2008. Jones won the first semi in 12.43, the fastest time of the year, confirming her favorite’s status. In the second semi, Sweden’s Susanna Kallur, who was expected to challenge for a medal, hit the first hurdle hard, fell to the track, and was out. The final started as expected with Jones ahead early and late. By the eighth hurdle she was two metres clear of the field and the gold medal seemed assured. But then she rammed the ninth hurdle and stumbled, almost falling; she stayed upright and was able to finish but had lost all momentum and finished seventh. Off the last hurdle, American Dawn Harper and Australian Sally McLellan were about equal, but Harper had much more speed on the run-in and won by 1/10th of a second. Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schleip closed quickly and only the photo finish could separate her from McLellan, who got the silver medal, with Lopes-Schleip earning bronze.


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record  Yordanka Donkova (BUL) 12.21 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria 20 August 1988
Olympic record  Joanna Hayes (USA) 12.37 Athens, Greece 24 August 2004

No new world or Olympic records were set for this event.


Women's 100m Hurdles - FINAL

High hurdles seem to be cursed here in Beijing, the latest casualty being US champion and world season leader Lolo Jones who, reminiscent of a certain Gail Devers in Barcelona 1992, crashed into hurdle 9 while well ahead of the rest of the field.

With defending Olympic champion Joanna Hayes not present having failed to survive the US Olympic Trials, the Americans nevertheless managed to defend a title which has been theirs only three times previously.

This time around it was 24-year-old Dawn Harper who joins Hayes, Benita Fitzgerald-Brown (1984) and Babe Didricksen (1932-80m Hurdles) in the Olympic Games record books.

Based in Los Angeles and training with the likes of Hayes, 3-time World champion Devers and 2-time World champion Michelle Perry to name but a few, Harper is the latest of guru Bob Kersee’s protégés to make it to the top of the podium but her road to glory here in Beijing was far from smooth as she only secured a spot on the team by 7 thousands of a second!

From third at the Trials to Olympic champion, the 2003 Pan American champion timed it to perfection to clock a personal best 12.54, the only athlete in tonight’s final to actually improve on her best time.

For most of the race, focus was on the inside lanes as Australia’s national record holder Sally McLellan had an amazingly fast start in lane 3. Running immediately to her right, Jones was shocked by the former World Junior champion’s reaction and she found herself trailing up until hurdle 3.

Jones has been so fast this year that she had little difficulties recovering the lead just as fast as McLellan had blasted off the blocks. With them, World bronze medallist Delloreen Ennis-London was maintaining contact from lane 5, as was Harper in 6.

By the eighth hurdle Jones was digging so hard that she looked set to grab the gold medal most of the pundits had already put around her neck. Unfortunately for her she clipped the ninth barrier so hard she was totally thrown off her tempo. She did well to recover and finish the race but gold was already gone.

While all eyes were on Jones who took her shades off immediately past the finish line to kneel down, her face covered under her arms, it took a replay of the race on the screen board to actually notice Harper had won it by a full tenth of a second.

It wasn’t such an easy call for the minor medals as the next five athletes dipped towards the finish in what looked like a straight line from lane 3 all the way down to lane 9.

While the photo finish was being examined and athletes waited anxiously – Jones still on the floor her head down – the second replay showed McLellan looking over her right and venturing a little smile as she noticed that she was up in there with the very best.

But nothing was less sure. Eventually the scoreboard flashed the next five names contemporaneously revealing that only two hundredths of a second separated second from sixth. McLellan was given a nod in second, winning Australia’s first track medal of the Games with Canada’s Priscilla Lopes-Schliep in third. Both were timed at 12.64.

US Olympic Trials runner up Damu Cherry was credited with 12.65 good enough for fourth as Ennis-London and compatriot Brigitte Foster-Hylton shared the same time 12.66 respectively fifth and sixth.

Jones was seventh at 12.72.

Eventually Jones stood up and walked towards the mixed zone having to experience her nightmare again as her dramatic clip was showed again and again on the screen.

"You hit a hurdle about twice a year where it affects your race," said a very emotional Jones. "It's just a shame that it happened on the biggest race of my life.

"About the middle part of the race, the hurdles were just coming up very fast. It's kind of like a car. When you race in a car and you're going max velocity and you hit a curve, you either maintain control or you crash and burn and today I crashed and burned."

“I am shocked and sad. I did such an amazing job this year but in the hurdles you have to get over all ten. It’s very hard right now, it’ll be harder tomorrow.”

The winner commented on Jones: “certain people have to be the favourites but on the day they have to run their race. On the day it’s anyone’s race and I gave myself a chance.”

“Being the Olympic champion has always been a dream of mine. It’s so surreal, it’s so amazing. To have the world say that I am the Olympic champion, it’s so amazing.”

“Bobby (Kersee) said it to me a million times since coming into Beijing,” she added. “Focus on your body, focus on yourself. And that is just what I did.”

“After the semis, he said to me ‘you’re on that podium, the colour of the medal is up to you.’ And for him to say such things, it’s great motivation as obviously he knows what he’s talking about.”

From her Los Angeles residence, Hayes commented: “I'm so happy for Dawn, she is my training partner and friend. Hurdles are so crazy, you can never predict them!”

And she too knows what she’s talking about.

Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF

100 m hurdles Women     Final 19 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.54 0,1   Dawn Harper Nelson United States USA 13 May 84  
2 12.64 0,1   Sally Pearson Australia AUS 19 Sep 86  
3 12.64 0,1   Priscilla Lopes-Schliep Canada CAN 26 Aug 82  
4 12.65 0,1   Damu Cherry United States USA 29 Nov 77  
5 12.65 0,1   Delloreen Ennis Jamaica JAM 5 Mar 75  
6 12.66 0,1   Brigitte Foster-Hylton Jamaica JAM 7 Nov 74  
7 12.72 0,1   Lolo Jones United States USA 5 Aug 82  
8 12.94 0,1   Sarah Claxton Great Britain GBR 23 Sep 79  

Women's 100m Hurdles - Semi-Finals

In what turned out to be a cursed day for hurdlers, World Indoor record holder Susanna Kallur was the third athlete after Liu Xiang and Terrence Trammell this morning, to experience drama.

The 27-year-old European champion who was forced to cut her season short after the Oslo Golden League meeting in early June to recover from a hamstring injury in order to be healthy enough to be competitive here in Beijing did not fail through injury this time. She clipped the first barrier and crashed to the floor, her Olympic dream shattered in less than two seconds.

Ironically Kallur’s demise is reminiscent of former World champion Perdita Felicien’s at the Athens Olympic Games final when the Canadian tried to go too out hard only to clip the first hurdle. Not only did she fall she also knocked Irina Shevchenko of Russia in the process.

Here it was Vonette Dixon who was affected by the Swedish’s crash although the Jamaican did finish the race. After stumbling over the third hurdle, Dixon took too much time to recover her tempo and could only finish fifth.

Up front Damu Cherry and Dawn Harper, respectively second and third at the US Olympic Trials, scored a convincing one-two, Cherry prevailing by four hundredths of a second in 12.62.

"I noticed it (Kallur falling)," Harper said. "But as soon as I noticed it, my next hurdle was right there. Besides hitting one of the hurdles, that was a good race for me. The USA is ready and we can meet our expectations. It's about time."  

Jamaican champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton was next through the line in 12.76 ahead of Great Britain’s Sarah Claxton who held off Dixon’s desperate challenge in the run-in.

Running on the outside, World Indoor bronze medallist Anay Tejada was also thrown off as she lost her tempo half way through the race. The Cuban failed to finish.

After eventually coming to terms with her disappointment, Kallur finally stood up and walked towards the finish line trying to hold back tears under the supportive applaud of the crowd. In probably the kindest of gestures, Foster-Hylton waited for her and spared a few words which Kallur visibly appreciated as she even managed a smile at the TV camera.

"I guess I tried to much," commented Kallur. "I wanted to run too fast. For the first time this summer, I felt in really good shape. But I pushed too much. I hope I'll be back on the track again in a few weeks. It's not as bad (physically) as it is mentally."

The first of two semi finals had been much less eventful with US champion and World season leader Lolo Jones setting a new personal best 12.43, an impressive 24 hundredths of a second clear of Delloreen Ennis-London in second.

And Jones hadn’t even started well! Trailing up until the third hurdle, Jones was just head and shoulders above the rest of the field her race seeming effortless.

Jones evidently meant business tonight, a fact she confirmed when saying "when you put pressure on someone in the hurdles, they crack. I try to do that. (The time) means nothing. I'll forget about it and do much better. There's so many girls that I fear. It's anybody's race." 

Canadian champion Priscilla Lopes-Schliep took the third qualifying spot in 12.68 to match the achievement of compatriots Felicien and Angela Whyte, both finalists in Athens 2004.

Australian record holder Sally Gunnell only just managed to qualify in fourth upsetting Josephine Onyia, a disappointing fifth in 12.86 only two months after lowering her Spanish national record to 12.50.

With three Americans in the final, including the fastest in the world this year, the US sprint hurdlers look set to defend the title Joanna Hayes took in Athens 2004. And maybe also have a go at her Olympic record 12.37!

Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF

100 m hurdles Women     Semifinal 1 18 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.43 0,2 Q Lolo Jones United States USA 5 Aug 82  
2 12.67 0,2 Q Delloreen Ennis Jamaica JAM 5 Mar 75  
3 12.68 0,2 Q Priscilla Lopes-Schliep Canada CAN 26 Aug 82  
4 12.70 0,2 Q Sally Pearson Australia AUS 19 Sep 86  
5 12.86 0,2   Josephine Onyia Spain ESP 15 Jul 86  
6 12.96 0,2   Aurelia Trywiańska-Kollasch Poland POL 9 May 76  
7 12.99 0,2   Carolin Dietrich Germany GER 26 Feb 85  
8 13.28 0,2   Nevin Yanıt Turkey TUR 16 Feb 86  
100 m hurdles Women     Semifinal 2 18 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.62 0,2 Q Damu Cherry United States USA 29 Nov 77  
2 12.66 0,2 Q Dawn Harper Nelson United States USA 13 May 84  
3 12.76 0,2 Q Brigitte Foster-Hylton Jamaica JAM 7 Nov 74  
4 12.84 0,2 Q Sarah Claxton Great Britain GBR 23 Sep 79  
5 12.86 0,2   Vonette Dixon Jamaica JAM 26 Nov 75  
6 13.05 0,2   Reina-Flor Okori France FRA 2 May 80  
  DNF 0,2   Susanna Kallur Sweden SWE 16 Feb 81  
  DNF 0,2   Anay Tejeda Cuba CUB 3 Apr 83  

Women's 100m Hurdles - Round 1

There was a big question mark on World Indoor record holder Susanna Kallur’s health before the opening round of the women’s 100m Hurdles here in Beijing.

The Swedish record holder may have looked a bit rusty in what was her first competition since 6 June but she definitely proved that she can be in the fight for the medals as she clocked the fastest time of the opening round.

Kallur set off to a somewhat conservative start, which considering the injury problems she has been suffering from March was to be expected, but she built up enough speed to catch up with Spanish record holder Josephine Onyia, a reputed fast starter who had beaten Kallur into second at the Berlin Golden League meeting.

Onyia and Kallur dipped to the line to secure the two automatic qualifiers as a photo finish was required to determine the heat winner. Onyia was given the heads-up as both were credited the same time which would eventually prove the fastest from all five first-round races.

Nevit Yanit of Turkey and Aurelia Trywianska of Poland were next across the line in 12.94 and 12.98 respectively and both eventually made it through to tomorrow’s semi finals as two of six fastest losers.

US champion Lolo Jones made the biggest impression winning heat 4 in what was a very relaxed 12.71. An impressive winner at the US Olympic Trials in a wind aided 12.29 Jones blasted from the blocks and got into a devastating rhythm between the obstacles. The 26-year-old World Indoor champion took into her wake former World Junior champion Anay Tejada a comfortable second with Reina Flor Okori of France also advancing with 12.98.

The remaining three heats turned into a display of Jamaican hurdling technique as Vonette Dixon, Delloreen Ennis-London and Brigitte Foster-Hylton respectively took heats 2, 3 and 5.

A world silver medallist in 2003 Foster-Hylton who had to miss out on last year’s World Championships in Osaka through injury clocked a convincing 12.69 despite wearing very visible pink strapping on the back of both legs. Running on the outside, Foster-Hylton was not affected by the heavy fall of Guinea’s Fatmata Fofanah who smashed into the first barrier unlike US Trials runner-up Dawn Harper who was running in the lane adjacent to the African runner. Harper was nevertheless unchallenged in second in 12.73.

32-year-old Dixon was also a fast heat winner in 12.69 preceding fast starter Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (12.75), Damu Cherry (12.92) and Carolin Nytra (12.95). Lopes-Schliep who fell in the heats at the World Indoor Championships in Valencia set off to a blasting start but Dixon proved a much stronger finish. Third at the US Olympic Trials, Cherry never looked into contention and with the quality of hurdling talent which will line-up in the semi finals she certainly needs to up the tempo to make it past the second round.

Commonwealth champion Ennis-London was the slowest heat winner tonight but we shouldn’t give that piece of information too much importance. The winner of the Paris Golden League meeting certainly has enough experience to judge the rounds well. Behind her, 21-year-old former World Youth champion Sally McLellan who improved the Australian and Oceania record twice this year clocked 12.83. The Australian is reportedly suffering from back injury but didn’t seem to be affected in what was her first race at an Olympic Games.

In third British champion Sarah Claxton also advanced in 12.97 and will be one of seven Europeans to line-up in the semi finals.

Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF

100 m hurdles Women     Heat 1 17 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.68 -0,2 Q Josephine Onyia Spain ESP 15 Jul 86  
2 12.68 -0,2 Q Susanna Kallur Sweden SWE 16 Feb 81  
3 12.94 -0,2   Nevin Yanıt Turkey TUR 16 Feb 86  
4 12.98 -0,2   Aurelia Trywiańska-Kollasch Poland POL 9 May 76  
5 13.13 -0,2   Micol Cattaneo Italy ITA 14 May 82  
6 13.18 -0,2   Lucie Škrobáková Czech Republic CZE 4 Jan 82  
7 13.39 -0,2   Katsiaryna Paplauskaya Belarus BLR 7 May 87  
8 13.65 -0,2   Miriam Cupáková Slovakia SVK 2 Mar 79  
100 m hurdles Women     Heat 2 17 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.69 -0,1 Q Vonette Dixon Jamaica JAM 26 Nov 75  
2 12.75 -0,1 Q Priscilla Lopes-Schliep Canada CAN 26 Aug 82  
3 12.92 -0,1   Damu Cherry United States USA 29 Nov 77  
4 12.95 -0,1   Carolin Dietrich Germany GER 26 Feb 85  
5 13.18 -0,1   Aleksandra Antonova Russia RUS 24 Mar 80  
6 13.22 -0,1   Derval O'Rourke Ireland IRL 28 May 81  
7 13.45 -0,1   Maíla Paula Machado Brazil BRA 22 Jan 81  
8 14.24 -0,1   Fadwa Al-Boza Syria SYR 4 Jan 90 NJR
100 m hurdles Women     Heat 3 17 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.82 -0,1 Q Delloreen Ennis Jamaica JAM 5 Mar 75  
2 12.83 -0,1 Q Sally Pearson Australia AUS 19 Sep 86  
3 12.97 -0,1   Sarah Claxton Great Britain GBR 23 Sep 79  
4 13.07 -0,1   Yuliya Kondakova Russia RUS 4 Dec 81  
5 13.11 -0,1   Angela Whyte Canada CAN 22 May 80  
6 13.43 -0,1   Yenima Arencibia Cuba CUB 25 Dec 84  
7 13.56 -0,1   Flóra Redoúmi Greece GRE 11 Sep 76  
8 13.59 -0,1   Edit Vári Hungary HUN 31 May 75  
100 m hurdles Women     Heat 4 17 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.71 -0,6 Q Lolo Jones United States USA 5 Aug 82  
2 12.84 -0,6 Q Anay Tejeda Cuba CUB 3 Apr 83  
3 12.98 -0,6   Reina-Flor Okori France FRA 2 May 80  
4 13.05 -0,6   Christina Vukicevic Norway NOR 18 Jun 87  
5 13.05 -0,6   Tatyana Dektyareva Russia RUS 8 May 81  
6 13.20 -0,6   Natalya Ivoninskaya Kazakhstan KAZ 22 Feb 85  
7 13.34 -0,6   Toyin Augustus Nigeria NGR 24 Dec 79  
8 14.29 -0,6   Jeimy J. Bernárdez Honduras HON 3 Sep 86  
100 m hurdles Women     Heat 5 17 August      
Rank Mark Wind   Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 12.69 0,4 Q Brigitte Foster-Hylton Jamaica JAM 7 Nov 74  
2 12.73 0,4 Q Dawn Harper Nelson United States USA 13 May 84  
3 12.99 0,4   Anastasiya Pilipenko Kazakhstan KAZ 13 Sep 86  
4 13.01 0,4   Aleesha Barber Trinidad and Tobago TTO 16 May 87  
5 13.06 0,4   Yevheniya Snihur Ukraine UKR 7 Mar 84  
6 13.25 0,4   Nadine Faustin-Parker Haiti HAI 14 Apr 76  
7 13.49 0,4   Dedeh Erawati Indonesia INA 25 May 79 NR
  DNF 0,4   Fatmata Fofanah Bahrain BRN 26 Jun 85  




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