Over the past couple of years and leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games, the United States has produced some of the fastest female hurdles in the history of the event.
In Rio, the United States made history by sweeping the 100-meter hurdles at the Olympic Games. Brianna Rollins won gold in 12.48, followed by Nia Ali with a time of 12.59, and Kristi Castlin for the bronze in 12.61.
All of these women are under the age of 29 and could potentially compete for another Olympic medal in four years.
Probably the most interesting piece of information is that none of the three women who won a medal in Rio has the fastest time of the year in the event. This belongs to Kendra Harrison of the United States.
Harrison finished a disappointing sixth place at the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 8, 2016. She had the world’s best time coming into the trials and for most people was a sure-in to make the U.S. Olympic team. It didn’t work out as Harrison planned as she did not run her best in the semi-final or final of the event.
Harrison decided not to end her season on a disappointing performance and two weeks later competed in a Diamond League meet in London. On July 22, 2016, Harrison broke a 28-year-old world record held by Bulgaria’s Yordanka Donkova. She finished the race in 12.20, destroying the field, including the three women who would eventually become the Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medalists. Harrison is only 23 years of age.
From the looks of it, the United States could dominate the 100-meter hurdles for quite some time. Congratulations to all of the U.S. women who medaled in Rio and we wish you continued success in the sport of track and field.
By Dr. Brandon Spradley
Dr. Spradley is the Director of Sports Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.