The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Next hur­dle’s a kid­ney trans­plant

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RUS­SIAN Sergey Shubenkov stormed to the 110m hur­dles world ti­tle to shat­ter Olympic cham­pion Aries Mer­ritt’s hopes of gold, days be­fore he un­der­goes a kid­ney trans­plant.

Shubenkov, the two-time Euro­pean cham­pion, clocked a na­tional record of 12.98 sec­onds, with Amer­i­can Mer­ritt (pic­tured), who will leave for his surgery di­rectly from Bei­jing, tak­ing the bronze in a sea­son’s best 13.04.

Ja­maican Hansle Parch­ment fin­ished in 13.03 to pip Mer­ritt for sil­ver, but Mer­ritt said reach­ing the world ti­tles podium ranked higher than win­ning the Olympic ti­tle.

“This bronze medal means more to me than my Olympic gold,” the 30-year-old said.

“In 2013 when they told me I’d never run again that pretty much ended my life. It men­tally de­stroyed me.

“If I was a nor­mal hu­man be­ing we might have seen a record. But the re­al­ity is ... I’m un­der 20 per cent kid­ney func­tion so it’s very tough.”

Mer­ritt, who ended 2012 with an Olympic ti­tle be­fore be­ing di­ag­nosed with a rare kid­ney dis­ease, in­sisted he would try to try to re­turn for next year’s Rio Olympics.

“The trip home is def­i­nitely go­ing to be a lit­tle de­press­ing be­cause I’m go­ing to have surgery, not to hang out with my friends,” he said.

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