Robles claims Olympic men's 110m hurdles title with ease
2008-08-21 14:55:56 GMT 2008-08-21 22:55:56 (Beijing Time) Xinhua
Dayron Robles of Cuba celebrates after the men's 110m hurdles final at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, during Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 21, 2008. Dayron Robles won the title.(Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Without Chinese legend Liu Xiang, Cuban Dayron Robles reaffirmed his dominance in the men's 110m hurdles with a commanding victory to win the Olympic title here on Thursday.
The 21-year-old surged ahead from the bell and never relinquished his position to come home in 12.93, 0.06 seconds slower than his own world record. American duo finished second and third as David Payne, 2007 world championships bronze medalist, took the silver at 13.17 with a season's best, and David Oliver bronze at 13.18.
Robles, who timed the fastest time in the semi-finals of a modest 13.12 seconds, finished the race ahead of the eight finalists but still shook head, showing dissatisfaction of the results.
It's a chance to see perhaps the best hurdler in history make an assault on his own world record, 12.87, which he set in June, besting Chinese Liu Xiang's 2006 mark by 0.01.
The anticipation of seeing defending champion Liu try to defend his Olympic title made the final the toughest ticket to come by in the Bird's Nest stadium and even at the whole Games.
But after the withdrawal of Liu with an Achilles tendon injury, and America's Terrence Trammell, the model of hurdling consistency, could not finish his preliminary race because of a hamstring strain, the spotlight on the 110-meter hurdles got a whole lot dimmer. Even before the Thursday's final, there were wishful audience chanting "Go! Liu Xiang!"