05 MAR 2008 General News

Women's 60m Hurdles - FINAL

This event has had a habit of throwing up shock winners and while LoLo Jones' success is no huge surprise, few would have predicted at the start of the competition she would be the one to land gold.

Her path was, of course, eased following the withdrawal of world record holder Susanna Kallur of Sweden after she injured a hamstring before her semi-final but Jones still delivered in style to win in 7.80, the second fastest ever winning time in the history of the event - 0.05 behind Perdita Felicien's winning time four years ago.

The field got away at the second time of asking after Russia's Aleksandra Antonova committed an inital false start. However, it was not Jones but her US team-mate Candice Davis who made the lightning start and she held a narrow lead after three hurdles.

However, Jones, the US indoor champion who set an personal best of 7.77 earlier this season, had enough time to recover and held her composure to surge over the last two hurdles and claim a decisive win.

Davis held on for the silver - to complete the first US one-two in the history of the event - in 7.93.

But there was heartbreak for the home fans when Spain's Josephine Onyia clipped the top of the fifth and final hurdle and fell heavily when lying in the bronze medal position, her dreams of a podium finish in tatters.

Cuba's Anay Tejeda profited to grab the bronze in 7.98 - 0.03 from Jamaican veteran Lacena Golding-Clarke.

An elated Jones, said: "I got a good start and got to the first hurdle ahead of the rest, and knew I could definitely win a medal. This winter season has been preparation on my start and working on the first five hurdles. To win is fantastic, however outdoors will be a different ball game when you have to face five more hurdles." 

It was a remarkable comeback for the Baton Rouge-based Jones who was on the verge of quitting the sport after missing out on a place in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Indeed, Jones was so broke she worked in a gym and almost had to apply for food stamps.

While not quite comparing with shock of Kirkland's 2001 success or Ireland's Derval O'Rourke in 2006 winning championship, Jones becoming the third American to take the title after Kirkland and Gail Devers was expected by few at the start of the championship.

Steve Landells for the IAAF