Is it Harrison’s turn to win 100m hurdles?
American Kendra Harrison might be thinking that the 2022 World Athletics Championships might finally be her turn to win the athletics version of spin-the-bottle, the 100-metre hurdles. Her coach, University of Texas maestro Edrick Floreal,...
American Kendra Harrison might be thinking that the 2022 World Athletics Championships might finally be her turn to win the athletics version of spin-the-bottle, the 100-metre hurdles. Her coach, University of Texas maestro Edrick Floreal, certainly hopes so.
In the last two major gatherings of the globe’s elite hurdlers, the 29-year-old Harrison has stood between Jamaica and silver medals. In 2019, at the last World Championships in Doha, Qatar, the slim American edged Danielle Williams into third by the minuscule margin of 0.01 of a second. Last year, she was 0.03 ahead of Megan Tapper, who won Jamaica’s first-ever Olympic medal in the 100 metres hurdles.
Asked in May if he thought 2022 might be Harrison’s chance to win, Floreal replied: “Yes, it’s always been her turn but we managed to have mishaps here and there but I believe this time, yes, I think she is mature enough and I think she’s overcome enough adversity to be able to be strong enough to handle whatever pressure comes with competing at home in the World Championships.”
Brilliant in 2016, she fell flat at the United States Olympic Trials and missed the top three. Weeks later, she sped, perhaps in anger, to a world record of 12.20 seconds.
With fellow American Nia Ali guaranteed a place in the first round of this year’s Worlds, Jasmin Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico now the Olympic champion, inform Doha fourth placer Tobi Amusan of Nigeria and the Jamaican trio of Tapper, Williams and 2021 Olympic finalist Britany Anderson in the field, the world record could be under threat.
Asked if a woman could one day break 12 seconds, Floreal offered that sub-12.20 is possible. “I think she’s fit and good enough to do it,” analysed the man whose past students include Jamaica’s World and Olympic 110 metres hurdles winner Omar McLeod.
“But I don’t know, I’m guessing 12.1 something might be more realistic but you never know. You get in the right race with the right people, the right motivation, anything can happen but 11 something, that’s a little far-fetched,” Floreal reckoned.
At the United States Trials, Harrison sliced through a 1.4-metre per second headwind to take the world lead down to 12.34 ahead of Alaysha Johnson, who carved 0.05 off her personal best with a clocking of 12.35 seconds.
In recent years, the big titles have gone to Williams in 2015, Brianna McNeal at the 2016 Olympics, the retired Sally Pearson in 2017 with Harrison fourth, Ali and Camacho-Quinn.
The 100 metres hurdles starts with the heats today and ends with the semi-finals and final on tomorrow’s last day of the World Championships.