13 SEP 2008 General News

Women's 100 Metres Hurdles

Josephine Onyia holds off Lolo Jones to win the 100m hurdles (Getty Images)Josephine Onyia holds off Lolo Jones to win the 100m hurdles (Getty Images) © Copyright

Spain’s Josephine Onyia who opened the 2008 AF Golden League season with a Spanish record in Berlin (12.50 sec) has been one of the surprises of this summer, also winning in Oslo, and taking Grand Prix wins in Madrid and Gateshead.

The former Nigerian was one of the slowest away from the gun but her pick-up over the first three flights of barriers carved out a lead which she held through to the line, winning in 12.54.

The run into and off the last hurdle was close however, as USA’s Lolo Jones who had been her nearest challenger throughout today’s encounter dipped very low at the finish line for second (12.56), and a late surge from Delloreen Ennis-London brought the Jamaican into the frame in the last few metres (also 12.56).

Onyia hadn’t made it further than the Beijing semi-final stage a few weeks ago, but today she was in a different league to those who had experienced success in China. Jamaica’s Olympic champion Dawn Harper running in the outside lane was never in the party (4th 12.67), and neither were her Beijing ‘podiumites’, Canada’s bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep coming sixth (12.81) and Australia’s silver medallist Sally McLellan in seventh (12.82).

“I surprised some people because I won against the Olympic champion. In the Olympic Games it did not work out for me. So I had to prove it today,” said the 22-year-old Onyia.

Chris Turner for the IAAF