The U.S. went one-two in the 110-meter hurdles final at the World Championships, but the world record holder and the defending world champion did not medal.
David Oliver bounced back from missing the 2012 Olympic team, coming out strong, clearly leading most of the way and winning in 13.00 seconds, his first world title. Ryan Wilson, 32, in his first world or Olympic final, took silver in 13.13.
Oliver, beset by a pelvis injury in 2011 and calf problems in 2012, let out a scream after crossing the finish line.
“It’s about time,” Oliver told Universal Sports. “So many sacrifices. … I’ve been injured for so long, dealing with that, still running. Never giving up, believing in myself.”
Russian Sergey Shubenkov kept the U.S. from sweeping the podium. Shubenkov clocked 13.24 for bronze.
The defending world champion, Jason Richardson, and the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder, Aries Merritt, finished fourth (13.27) and sixth (13.31), respectively.
Merritt was a revelation in track and field last year, running sub-13 eight times, including the 12.80 world record after the Olympics. A hamstring injury affected his early season, and he never challenged Oliver on Monday.
Oliver’s time marked the fastest in the world this year. The last time a year went by without anybody running sub-13 was 2009.
He added the world gold to his Olympic bronze in 2008. Oliver, who also played football at Howard University and still has that physique, ran the world’s five fastest times in 2010. But he missed the 2009 World Championships with an injury and placed fourth at the 2011 World Championships.
He finished fifth at the 2012 Olympic trials, where only the top three earned trips to London.
“Not the way I wanted it to end, made a whole lot of changes,” Oliver said of last year. “After having the amazing 2010, ’11 started with the injuries. … Not being able to perform at your best, running like a donkey, it sucks.”