Daniel Roberts, the American trials champion and third-fastest man in the world this year, was unable to go through the first round of the 110-meter hurdles at the World Championships on Saturday after colliding with a barrier and losing his footing while in the lead.
In the second half of the race, Roberts, who was dressed comfortably in full-length blue running tights in the chilly morning air, caught one hurdle hard before crashing into the next and sliding to the ground. Roberts, who won the trials on the same track with a 13.03 time, remarked, “I was very set to run, maybe I got lazy with it.” It’s very discouraging since I came here to compete, not only to receive a medal.
The other three heavily favoured Americans all made it to the next round without incident, but hot favourite Devon Allen, who will quit track and field to play for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, won the slowest heat in 13.47 after a sloppy run in which he clipped multiple hurdles.
Allen had the third-fastest time in history at the New York Grand Prix a month ago, clocking 12.84 seconds. Before the American trials, his father passed away, and on Saturday during a sombre trackside interview, he paid respect to him. He stated, “It’s been hard, the hardest thing in my life. “My dad provided me with a lot of possibilities. He always had the greatest seat in the house, and now he can run with me.”
Trey Cunningham, a fellow countryman, won the first heat in 13.28, while Grant Holloway, the defending champion and silver medalist at the Olympics in Tokyo, looked strong as he crossed the finish line in 13.14, the quickest time of the round. Although no nation has ever swept the podium in this competition, the United States has won two medals there seven times.
Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, the Olympic champion, overcame a harrowing start to win his heat in 13.17, eventually reeling in the Brazilian Rafael Pereira who had blasted out of the blocks and had been leading until the final barrier.
Both the semifinals and the championship will be played on Sunday.
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