There was injury and there was controversy, and that was until American Grant Holloway competed in the 110m hurdles final for the world title on Sunday night.
The race – and more specifically, everything leading up to it – was not lacking in drama. As the athletes went through their final preparations, Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment, the reigning Olympic champion, injured himself during the warm-up and had to withdraw. And then things got really crazy.
Devon Allen, the third-fastest man in the event’s history and a medal hopeful for the United States, was disqualified for a false start – with the slimmest of margins.
“There’s really not much I can do,” Allen said. “Transport is very difficult because you train all year for competitions that last 12 seconds, 13 seconds and that’s it. Your identity is based on this one contest. “
Starting blocks are equipped with sensors that measure the reaction time so that athletes do not realize the weapon. Allowable reaction time is a tenth of a second. Allen’s reaction time exceeded that limit by a thousandth of a second, which meant He was automatically disqualified. As the fans filled Hayward Field with boos, even his opponents seemed shaken.
“We didn’t think he had a false start,” said 23-year-old Trey Cunningham, who won the U.S. silver behind Holloway. “No other athlete did and we really wanted it to run.”
Holloway, 24, who won in 13.03 seconds, was able to defend her world title from Doha in 2019 after winning a medal at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“My goal this year was to win the indoor title and defend my title, and I did that,” he said, referring to his World Championships win in the 60m hurdles in March. “We all fail to achieve certain goals in life. But we are not leaving. “
Holloway was asked if she thought the reaction time rule was fair.
“I couldn’t even tell you, boss,” he said. “I don’t even know what the reaction time is. I mean, I do, but I don’t pay attention to it.”
Allen, 27, who ran track and played football at the University of Oregon, now plans to turn his attention to the NFL — at least for the foreseeable future. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in April and hopes to remain with the team as a wide receiver.