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LetsRun.com's 2009 IAAF Berlin World Championships Preview
Women's 100m Hurdles - Tense Showdown Expected As Harper Goes For Gold Again
American Lolo Jones has the best time in the world this year. She has won major races on the European circuit this summer. She desperately wants to make up for her Olympic fall in 2008. But she won't get the chance. Jones, injured early season, could not make the US Trials final, let alone the top 3 back in June, leaving the world's #1 hurdler in 2008 and 2009 out of this year's World Championships.
Again looking to step up in Jones' place is American Dawn Harper. Harper, who won Olympic gold in 2008, ran a scintillating 12.36 (with a barely illegal tailwind) at the US Championships to qualify along with Ginnie Powell and Damu Cherry. 12.36 would easily be the world leader if it was wind-legal. But Harper and every other hurdler have been mortal this year, there has been no superpower on the circuit.
Cherry is one to watch. Banned for a doping offense earlier in her career, Cherry has come back in full force this year and won the first two IAAF Golden League jackpot races in Berlin and Oslo. But when Rome came around, Cherry was mysteriously denied a lane by meet organizers, perhaps a silent protest of her drug-using past.
Behind Jones on the world list are five athletes within a tenth of a second of her seasonal best. Canada's Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and 2007 WC medalist Perdita Felicien will likely make the final and contend for a medal. Jamaicans Delloreen Ennis-London and Brigitte Foster-Hylton look to be below the medal contenders but should make the final. Ennis-London claimed the bronze medal in Osaka.
Australian national record holder Sally McClellan has had an inconsistent season in the hurdles. She has the 2nd-fastest time in the world but has been trounced a few times on the European circuit as well.
Despite the absence of Lolo Jones, look for a strong performance from Americans Cherry and Harper in a final that should be very, very close and exciting to watch.
Women's 100m Hurdles Statistics By LRC Coaching Guru John Kellogg
12.47 Lolo Jones (USA)+ PR 12.43 (= #4 all-time USA) (2008)