D.O and Ryan Wilson in Moscow

by Steve McGill

For this month’s great race, we’re going to take a look back to the men’s 110 hurdle final at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. This race, won by David Oliver, included four Americans — Oliver, Ryan Wilson, Jason Richardson, and Aries Merritt. Merritt, the previous year, had set the hurdling world on fire with an undefeated season in which he won the Olympic gold medal and demolished the world record with a 12.80 that no one has come close to since. But in 2013 he was struggling with injury, so he was no longer dominating, although he remained a threat for the gold. Richardson had won the 2011 World Championship, although most observers didn’t consider him a “real” champion because of the circumstances under which he won. Liu Xiang of China and Dayron Robles of Cuba had gotten their arms tangled late in the race, with Robles being disqualified for impeding Liu. As a result, Richardson won the gold. Wilson, meanwhile, was an older hurdler by 2013 who had yet to medal at a major championship, although he’d been knocking on the door for years. Famous for running in a plain white singlet for many years due to not having a contract, Wilson was having an excellent 2013, and this race looked to be his best shot to make it to the victory stand. Then there was Oliver,  who had been a top hurdler for almost a full decade by this point, but had yet to reach the status of some of his competition over the years, such as Liu, Robles, and Allen Johnson.

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