Kori shocker from out­side lane in hur­dles

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Amer­i­can Kori Carter pulled off an­other of the grow­ing num­ber of shocks at the World Cham­pi­onships on Thurs­day, achiev­ing the rare feat of win­ning the 400 me­tres hur­dles ti­tle from the out­side lane.

All eyes had been on Kori’s US team mate, Olympic cham­pion Dalilah Muham­mad, who had been the strong favourite, but it was the for­mer Amer­i­can cham­pion in lane nine who main­tained her form best to race to vic­tory in 53.07 sec­onds.

Dalilah , the fastest woman in the world this year, earned the sil­ver in 53.50 to com­plete an Amer­i­can one-two while Ja­maican Ris­tananna Tracey, an Olympic fi­nal­ist last year, took the bronze in a life­time best 53.74.

Czech Zuzana He­jnova, who had been seek­ing to achieve an un­prece­dented third suc­ces­sive one-lap hur­dles vic­tory, had to set­tle for fourth, be­ing over­hauled by Ris­tananna on the runin de­spite clock­ing a sea­son’s best 54.20.

“I am on top of the world right now. What a bless­ing to be world cham­pion. This is just an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing like I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced,” the 25-year-old Kori told the crowd.

“When you work so hard and sac­ri­fice so much for some­thing, for it to pay off in the end is so sat­is­fy­ing. It’s a sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence right now.

“It’s al­ways great to run against great ath­letes be­cause it brings the best out in you, go­ing up against Team USA at tri­als re­ally pre­pared me for this.”

Few, though, could have ex­pected the Los An­ge­les-based Kori, who had won the US ti­tle three years ago, to pre­vail from the out­side lane where the race be­comes a test of blind faith.

Wayde van Niekerk, fa­mously, achieved his Olympic 400 me­tres win last year from that po­si­tion, break­ing the world record in the process, but that was a wholly un­prece­dented feat.

Dalilah, who ran 52.64 sec­onds this year when she beat Kori into third place in a high-qual­ity US tri­als race, had led through seven hur­dles in lane four.

But Kori, who started her ath­letic ca­reer as a soc­cer player be­fore fall­ing in love with the hur­dles, dug deep over the last 30 me­tres and pulled away from Dalilah.

Zuzana was also quickly run­ning out of steam and twice Ja­maican cham­pion Ris­tanan­na­took ad­van­tage.

“I feel sorry for my per­for­mance tonight,” Zuzana said. “I am disappointed. I kicked it too much at the start and I was miss­ing the en­ergy in the last me­tres. I think I just let my­self be blown away by this amaz­ing at­mos­phere at the sta­dium.”

Dalilah talked of hav­ing suf­fered a “shaky” sea­son even though she had been im­pe­ri­ous in Sacra­mento at the US Cham­pi­onships.

“I re­ally wanted to win, of course, but I’ve had so many ups and downs this sea­son. To come out with a sil­ver, I’m proud of that,” the 27-year-old said.

“I’m just happy to even get on the podium - it’s been a shaky year. I am very proud of Team USA, we come out and show out.” Reuters

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