BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — With the Rio Olympics two months away, another gold medal looks like a long shot for Sally Pearson.
Up-and-coming American Keni Harrison couldn’t be more ready.
In a loaded field for the women’s 100m hurdles at the Diamond League event in Birmingham on Sunday, Pearson trailed home in seventh place in her first competitive race in a year following a serious wrist injury. The Australian described her time of 13.25 seconds — almost a second slower than her personal best — as “disgusting” but was “really happy I could cross the finish line with a smile on my face.”
Harrison won the race in 12.46 seconds despite hitting some hurdles along the way, showing her stunning victory in Eugene last week — in 12.24, the second-fastest time ever — was no one-off. She beat compatriot Brianna Rollins (12.57) in an American 1-2-3-4.
At age 23 and in her first full season as a professional, Harrison is one of the United States’ best track talents heading into Rio, coming within 0.03 seconds of the long-standing world record last week.
“To be doing as well as I am, I’m just really blessed,” Harrison said.
Pearson hadn’t raced since suffering what doctors said was a “bone explosion” in her wrist in a heavy fall in Rome, a year and a day ago. She was also running with strapping around her left hamstring to protect an ailment.
“I’m actually really excited, which I wouldn’t normally be because all I’d be looking at would be the result,” Pearson said.
Home favorite Mo Farah got the biggest cheer of the day after breaking the British record to win the 3000m in 7 minutes, 32.62 seconds. Farah, who now holds his country’s best times from 1500m through 10,000m, bookended his performance with some shadow boxing in honor of his sporting hero Muhammad Ali, the boxing great who died Saturday at age 74.
The longest winning streak in track and field ended. Colombian Caterine Ibargüen was beaten in the triple jump by Kazakh Olga Rypakova. The former had won 34 straight competitions since taking silver at the London Olympics.
Among the other winners at the Alexander Stadium on a sunny day in central England were Olympic champion Kirani James, who ran the 400m in 44.23 — one of six meet records on the day, according to organizers. Kim Collins, the 40-year-old sprinter, clocked 10.11 to win a men’s 100m field lacking the top names, and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop won the men’s 1500m in a world-leading 3.29.35.
David Rudisha, the Olympic 800m champion from Kenya, won the rarely run 600m in 1.13.10.
Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford‘s year-long unbeaten record ended when he finished fifth, behind Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (8.42 meters).
Rutherford tweeted that he was struggling with “bad whiplash” after hurting his neck in winning in Rome midweek.
Canadian Andre De Grasse won the 200m in 20.16 seconds into a headwind against a field that did not include any of the reigning Olympic or World medalists. De Grasse shared the 2015 World 100m bronze with American Trayvon Bromell, who had been entered in Birmingham but pulled out after he appeared to have problems at a meet in Rome on Thursday.