The noise for retiring British hurdler Colin Jackson was intense. Twice the spectators were asked to be quiet for the start.
When all was said and done, Allen Johnson of the US had regained the gold medal he first won in Barcelona eight years ago.
The American hurdler had run in a seemingly lackadaisical manner during the preceding two rounds, and this resulted in his less-than-prime position near the outside in lane seven.
But even when running out of contact with the other top hurdlers in the field, Johnson was able to brush off the effects of his mediocre start and some contact with four of the five hurdles to post a 7.47 time, just enough to take the gold ahead of Sydney champion Anier García of Cuba (7.49).
Of the others, only China’s Liu Xiang was able to challenge the leaders, as he collected the bronze with 7.52.
The remaining hurdlers were led by France’s Ladji Doucouré (7.58), as the final race of Jackson’s nineteen-season international career was a fifth-place 7.61.
Surprisingly far back in sixth was Stanislav Olijar of Latvia (7.62), who had twice clocked 7.50 in the preliminary rounds.