Now, how long does it take one to learn a lesson? Ask Lolo Jones and she would tell you ‘a little over two hours’.
After her near-to-catastrophic run in this afternoon’s semi-final when she qualified by virtue of just one hundredth of a second, Jones finally struck the perfect race. One she had been waiting for since her dramatic fall at the Beijing Olympic Games a couple of summers ago.
Lining-up for the final in lane two, Jones had gotten ridden of her shades and as it turned out she also got rid of her demons blasting out of the blocks, running for herself and not worrying about what was happening on the side. She was ahead at the first hurdle, she was ahead all the way through to the last and her lead at the finish was as big as 0.14, the biggest winning margin in the history of the event.
With her breathtaking race today, Jones clocked 7.72 and made history in many departments: she set a new personal best, a new American record – erasing double Olympic champion Gail Devers from that mark – a new championship record, she became the first woman ever to defend a 60m Hurdles World title and she moved to third on the all-time World Indoor lists!
What else could we ask of Ms Jones ?
“I had a bad semi, I almost lost it, but I finally put it together at the most important time. Now, it’s joy for me after last year’s frustration and all that happened in 2008. I am so happy to be back.”
“This is the biggest day of my career, my best race. Finally I broke one of Gail Devers’ records I was hunting in last few years. I’m back on track after 2008 in Beijing and 2009 injury. I do not know what to say, I do not remember the race.”
To add to Jones’ achievement, she defended her World Indoor title by defeating the cream of this year’s indoor season with 2004 champion Perdita Felicien of Canada, the owner of the previous Championship record claiming a sweet silver medal in a season’s best time 7.86.
Felicien said: “I am happy to just be able to be on the podium. It has been a rough winter and fall. Lolo got the start of her life today so she was clearly on fire from the first round. I had not been able to break eight seconds this season. To be able to run two season's best and my best time in six years since winning in Budapest is great. This medal means a lot to me as I have changed coaches. It is a new programme.”
The previous World leader, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep was uncharateristically trailing in fourth coming off the fifth and final barrier but her powerful finish had the better over formed World Junior champion Anay Tejeda, of Cuba, who had to be content with fourth in her season’s best time 7.91.
Lopes-Schliep added Doha’s bronze to Berlin’s silver and Beijing’s bronze.
US champion Ginnie Powell who also had an average semi-final was yet again below par and was relegated to fifth in 7.97.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF