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Event Report Men 110m Hurdles Final

USA's Allen JOHNSON hurdled his way into greatness this evening, becoming the World 110m hurdles champion for the fourth time, eclipsing the record of his countryman Greg Foster who won the first three world titles in 1983, 1987 and 1991.

Johnson, the defending champion, beat his team-mate Terrence TRAMMELL by eight hundredths of a second, clocking 13.12. Trammell, one of the other three Americans in the final, ran a season's best for his silver medal, while the world junior record holder LUI Xiang took the bronze in 13.23.

Johnson's victory puts him among the very best athletes in World Championship history. He joins Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), Gail Devers (USA), and Jackie-Joyner Kersee (USA) with four gold medals taken from individual events. Only Carl Lewis (USA), Sergey Bubka (UKR), Michael Johnson (USA), and Lars Reidel (GER) have won more. US athletes have now won seven of the nine world championships in this event; only in 1993 and 1999 when Colin Jackson claimed the gold for Britain did the title go elsewhere. Indeed, only three men have ever won a world 110m hurdles title.

Johnson, running in shades in lane four, was away from the blocks cleanly and reached the first hurdle marginally ahead of Trammell in six, and Brazil's Marcio DE SOUZA in seven. Also going well was USA's Larry WADE in lane one, and Liu in five. Johnson was clipping every hurdle but by the fifth he was clearly in front and, barring disaster, the gold was his.

Trammell, the Olympic silver medallist in 2000 when Johnson finished fourth, challenged hard but couldn't make up the extra half a stride he needed to take top honours. Liu, a former World Student Games champion, finished strongly, missing a silver medal by only three hundredths of a second. His bronze was the first ever for his country in this event, and prevented what many expected would be a US clean sweep.