Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Close battle for men’s 110m hurdles at Prefontaine Classic

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 5:00 AMRaymond Graham
Aries Merritt of the US (left) competes against fellow American David Oliver in the men’s 110-metre hurdles during the IAAF Diamond League Track and Field meet in Shanghai, China, on Sunday, May 17.

A year ago, three athletes went under 13 seconds in the men's 110 metres hurdles at the Prefontaine Classic, where Jamaica's Hansle Parchment clocked a world-leading 12.94 seconds to score a close win over Pascal Martinot-Lagarde of France, second in 12.95 and the United States' Ronnie Ash, 12.99.

While a new champion will be crowned in the event this time around, as Parchment will not face the starter, another thrilling finish is expected as world leader David Oliver, who won recently in Beijing with 13.15 seconds, will lead a competitive field.

Oliver, who also won in Shanghai, this season will be hoping to make it three wins in a row. However, he should not have things his own way as Alec Harris, who beat him at the Drake Relays in April, will be hoping to do so once again.

With a season best 13.16 seconds from the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston, Harris will be seeking to remain unbeaten in his third outing this season.

Both Americans will not have things their own way as Martinot, who had his best race at the same venue last year, could upstage both Americans, despite this being his first race of the season.

Orlando Ortega of Cuba and Aries Merrit of the United States, who finished second and third in Shanghai, cannot be counted out either, especially the American, who has a personal best of 12.80 seconds. With this being a World Championships year, he could be rounding into good form and could go all the way in what is expected to be a close finish.