12 May, 2017


American queen of hurdling, Kendra Harrison returns to the scene of her world record breaking performance when she competes at the London Stadium in the Müller Anniversary Games in July. 

Harrison won the 100m hurdles last summer obliterating a world-class field in a scintillating 12.20 taking the record held by Bulgaria’s Yordanka Donkova (12.21) that had stood since 1988.  Having broken the meeting record in winning her heat in 12.40, it was clear Harrison was in great shape and out to make up for missing out on a place in the American team for the Rio Olympics.

As she did in her heat, the fast, flowing hurdler quickly moved clear of the field and after crossing the line Harrison fell to the track in tears when she realised the time, 12.20, one hundredth of a second faster than Donkova.  

Afterwards an excited Harrison said “After not making the Olympic team, I wanted to show these girls what I have. The US team is the hardest to make, our country wants the top three from the trials and I was not that person. The pressure got to me on the day.  I wish I could re-do that day.”

There was British interest in the race with Tiffany Porter finishing sixth with a 12.70 season’s best whilst heptathlete Jess Ennis-Hill was eighth in 13.04 after producing the second best run of her career, 12.76, in her heat.

But in the performance of the evening it was Harrison who stole the show, “I was so happy when it [the time] came up and I was feeling really blessed. It shows that even if you don't go out there and make the team, you have to keep going and be strong. I just ran my best and look what happened.

“To hear people call me a world record holder sounds remarkable. I wanted to come out here and show the world that I still have it, even though I won't be going to the Olympics. I had to give it all I had.”

This year, the Tennessee athlete started her season with a win in Friday's Doha Diamond League despite breaking a bone in her hand in her warm-up. The 24-year-old hurdler did not let the injury stop her from winning the race in an impressive 12.59 seconds against -2.4m/s strong head wind.

She posted on Twitter on Saturday, "Broke my hand during my final push out. Nothing but Gods strength & my determination that got me through that race w/ a win."

After the race she was immediately treated in hospital but is expected to be fit for the Eugene Diamond League meeting later this month and then the Müller Anniversary Games in London in July. 

The Müller Anniversary Games is part of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League and will be one of the last chances for athletes to compete ahead of this summer’s IAAF World Championships, which will see the best athletes in the world return to the London Stadium a matter of weeks later from 4-13 August.