US women set for historic hurdles sweep at World Championships
THERE has never been a one-two-three-four sweep at the World Championships.
Come next week, all that could change as the United States look set to dominate the women's 100 metres hurdles, where Jamaica's champion Danielle Williams will be the country's main hope of advancing to the final.
Jamaica has had good results in the event over the years through Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Delloreen Ennis-London and Michelle Freeman, all of whom won medals on the World stage.
Foster- Hylton won medals of all colours, her best coming at the Berlin World Champion-ships in 2009 where she took the gold medal.
Gillian Russell, Dionne Rose-Henley and Vonette Dixon have all been to the finals and the country will be hoping to advance athletes to their first final since 2009.
It will be a very tough task for the Williams sisters, Danielle and Shermaine, along with Kimberly Laing.
The United States appear to have a stranglehold on this event.
The good thing for Jamaica is that only four can compete at the Worlds and there is realistic hope that one or two of the Jamaicans can squeeze into the final.
The United States have so much depth, in spite of their second best athlete in the world this year - Jasmin Stowers (with 12.35 seconds) - not making the team after finishing fifth at their National Championships.
The US also got a wild card through defending champion, Brianna Rollins, who
is the fourth ranked American going into the Championships, with a season best 12.56 seconds.
It will be interesting to see the finishing order of the top four as world leader Sharika Nelvis, with 12.34, Dawn Harper-Nelson, 12.48, Kendra Harrison, 12.50, and Rollins will definitely fight it out for the top positions.
Harper-Nelson is the most experienced, having finished seventh in Berlin, third in Daegu and fourth two years ago in Moscow. She will be hoping to go all the way this time and add a second global title to her kitty, following gold at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. However, she will find her younger teammates too hot to handle this time around and will be hoping that a fast time is not done as usually she is hard to beat anywhere between 12.46 seconds or slower.
Following her exit at the semi-final stage two years ago, Danielle Williams has a glorious opportunity to advance to her first World Championships final. She is ranked at number six behind the Americans and Great Britain's Tiffany Porter (12.56).
Williams won her first global title last month at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea, and looks set to improve on her season best of 12.70.
1 Sharika Nelvis (USA),
2 Kendra Harrison (USA),
3 Brianna Rollins (USA)