Jamaica’s Nickiesha Wilson ran her fastest time of the year at 54.52 to score an upset win in the women’s 400m Hurdles where the European pair of Natalya Antyukh and Vania Stambolova, respectively winner and runner up at the recent European Championships in Barcelona, were expected to figure prominently.
Antyukh set out fast from the blocks but it was Stambolova who made a clear move in the final bend to enter the final straight in the lead. But when the Bulgarian clipped the final barrier it left the way for a fast finishing Wilson to score a precious victory for the Americas team and add 8 points to her Continent’s tally.
Running from lane 1, the 2008 African champion and national record holder Joke Odumosu closed in on the fading Antyukh and the struggling Stambolova to challenge for the win. The 22-year-old may not have been rewarded with the win but she will go home with a new Nigerian record 54.59 to her credit.
Meanwhile Stambolova held on for third with Antyukh in fourth with Loren Boden of Australia (curiously Asia/Pacific only lined up on runner in this event) securing fifth in 55.30.
“I did my strategy today,” said a delighted Wilson. “I’m glad to be part of the team. We all work together and it’s a victory for all of us. We have come to win and that’s what we’ll do.”
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF