Aries Merritt Runs World Record 12.80, Analysis and Video

By LetsRun.com
September 7, 2012

In the final Diamond League race of the year, Aries Merritt ran 12.80 to absolutely smash Dayron Robles' world record of 12.87 in the 110m hurdles.

Merritt' run was magnificent and it had to be to crush the world record. Since Renaldo Nehemiah ran 12.93 in 1981 to become the first man under 13.00, the world record had come down .06 seconds in 21 years. On Friday, Merritt lowered the record .07 seconds.

"The only thing I was focused on here was running under 13 (seconds). I obliterated under 13. I can't believe I ran that fast. I'm still in shock," Merritt told the BBC after the race.

Merritt's transformation in 2012 has been remarkable. Until this year he had never broken 13 seconds in the hurdles and his best was 13.09 from five years ago. Merritt first broke 13.00 in a non-wind aided race at the US Championships this year. Here are his performances in finals since then in races where he did not false start:

Date Competition Cnt. Type Pl. Result Wind
30.06.2012 Eugene USA Ch. USA F 1. 12.93 +1.2
13.07.2012 Crystal Palace Aviva London Grand Prix GBR F 1. 12.93 +0.6
20.07.2012 Monaco Herculis MON F 1. 12.93 0.0
08.08.2012 London Olympic Games GBR F 1. 12.92 -0.3
26.08.2012 Birmingham Aviva Grand Prix GBR F 1. 12.95 -0.9
02.09.2012 Berlin ISTAF GER F 1. 12.97 +1.2
07.09.2012 Bruxelles Memorial Van Damme BEL F 1. 12.80 +0.3

(data from all-athletics.com)

Merritt had never broken 13.00 in his life and then in six straight finals ran within 12.92 - 12.97 and won the Olympic gold medal. In hindsight, one had to think he could go faster, but 12.80 is another stratosphere.

Prior to this year, Merritt took eight steps to the first hurdle. This year he switched to seven steps to the first hurdle, joining the ranks of Liu Xiang, Dayon Robles, and David Oliver, all seven steppers.

The results have been remarkable. Merritt is now .29 faster this year than ever before. He has run seven straight races sub 13.00.

And of course he is now the world record holder.

"Finally, I'm living up to my potential after all these years," Merritt told the BBC in the understatement of the year. Merritt was a standout at the University of Tennessee and skipped his senior year to turn professional.

Merritt is known for finding minor flaws in his races, but he couldn't find one when rewatching it on the BBC.

Results, race video and post-race press conference with Aries Merritt below.

International visitors click here for video.

Aries Merritt Post-Race

Wind:+0.3
Rank Athlete Nation Result Reaction time Diamond Points Diamond Ranking
1
USA
12.80
WR
0.145
18
1
img
2
USA
13.05
0.147
18
2
 
3
JAM
13.14
0.157
3
4
 
4
RUS
13.21
0.165
1
5
 
5
USA
13.21
0.171
5
3
 
6
RSA
13.24
AR
0.133
 
 
 
7
USA
13.26
0.144
 
 
 
8
BAR
13.39
0.156
 
 
 
9
GBR
13.71
0.148
 
 
 

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