06 MAR 2004 General News

Men 60m Hurdles Semi-Finals

Sultan Tucker of Liberia, whose obstruction by the falling Duane Ross in the heats had prevented him from a fair opportunity in the opinion of the appeal jury, was advanced to the semifinal round.  His presence required the redrawing of the semifinals into three sections. 

Semifinal 1-

China's Liu Xiang led from the gun and breezed across the line in an Asian record 7.46, something even the normally stoic 20-year-old could not believe as he rubbed his eyes in disbelief upon reading the stadium clock. 

Yoel Hernandez, the senior of the two Cuban hurdling brothers, was in a lane far removed from Liu and could not benefit from Liu's brilliance, although he did clock a season-best 7.59 in his qualifying second place. 

Semifinal 2-

In a section taking the photoreaders more than ten minutes to sort out, Yuniel Hernandez of Cuba edged out Jamaica's Dwight Thomas in the same time of 7.59, as Robert Kronberg of Sweden found himself part of the blanket finish with a third-place 7.61.   Kronberg's performance was one of two time qualifiers advancing to the final. 

Semifinal 3-

Allen Johnson and Maurice Wignall waged an even battle over the first three barriers, but it was Latvia's Stanislavs Olijars coming from behind and winning the race with a last-ditch effort in 7.55.  It was not only Olijar but also Wignall who found a way to push at the end, as the Jamaican also clocked a 7.55 in second over the defending champion's 7.58.  All three will run in the final later today.