Sports

No hurdle too high

Not good enough for Rio but Harrison breaks world record in 100m hurdles; eyes 400m mark next

One world record is not enough for Kendra Harrison.

Hours after breaking the 28-year-old 100 metres hurdles record yesterday morning (Singapore time) to make up for the disappointment of failing to make the United States Olympic team, the American revealed there is another race she wants to conquer.

"(I want to) try to get another record in the 400m hurdles," Harrison (above) told a conference call from London where she ran a record-breaking 12.20 seconds in the 100m hurdles at the London Diamond League meeting.

She bettered the record of Bulgaria's Yordanka Donkova from 1988 - four years before Harrison was born - by one hundredth of a second.

It came in Harrison's first race since finishing sixth in the cut-throat US Olympic trials where only the top three booked their tickets to the Games starting on Aug 5.

The 23-year-old went into the selection meet as the fastest woman in the world this year - already threatening Donkova's world mark with a time of 12.24 at the Prefontaine Classic in May.

But on the same Eugene track on July 8, she finished a disappointing sixth in the final, where 2013 world champion Brianna Rollins won ahead of Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali.

"I wanted to come out here with a vengeance to show these girls what I have," said Harrison after defeating the three women who will represent the US in Rio.

Harrison was a sure-fire favourite before the American trials to make the US team and win gold at Rio after the super showing at the Prefontaine Classic.

"The pressure got to me," she said of the US trials. "I was really heartbroken. I wanted to give up so bad."

But calling it a season was not the answer, she realised.

"I knew this was the only way I was going to make myself feel better, to get back to training and go after that world record," she said.

Harrison said she was nervous before the race.

"I just tried to push all of the doubt out of my mind... I just told myself you know that you are the best. I just kept saying that over and over again," she added.

A speedy 12.40 seconds in the preliminary round restored her confidence. "I'm back," Harrison said to herself.

Harrison will next make an unexpected trip home to North Carolina and her family of 11 to watch and cheer on her US teammates in Rio before three more races in Europe.

She hopes to wrap up the Diamond League 100 metres hurdles title, ensuring she will have a bye into the 2017 world championships in the event.

"If I do that, I have a chance to take a break from the 100 hurdles until world championships and try to get another record in the 400 hurdles," said Harrison.

"My main focus (next year) will be the 400 hurdles until the worlds and I will try to do both."

- Wire Services.

OlympicsKENDRA HARRISON100M HURDLESworld record