Rollins wins World Championship in 100M Hurdles
CLEMSON, SC – Former Clemson star Brianna Rollins won the World Championship in Moscow, Russia on Saturday in the 100-meter hurdles, as she outdueled the past two reigning Olympic Champions to collect the gold medal for Team USA. Rollins won the crown one day before her 22nd birthday, capping an amazing season for the three-time NCAA Champion for the Tigers. It was the first individual World Championship won by a Clemson women’s track & field athlete.
“I feel great, my birthday is tomorrow, so I have two great things to celebrate,” Rollins told USA Track & Field after the win. “I'm just thankful, and I just thank God for blessing me with this opportunity. I didn't panic when I had such a bad start, I just continued to focus on my own 10 hurdles, and just try to finish the race strong. It's just such a great year, it's a blessed year, that's how I can describe it."
Despite a poor start, Rollins rallied and took charge by using her speed between the hurdles. Her time of 12.44 was the best performance of the three championship rounds this week, by any athlete. Her victory was significant in that it was her first head-to-head meeting with 2011 World Champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Sally Pearson of Australia. She also took down 2008 Olympic gold medalist, USA teammate Dawn Harper-Nelson. Pearson was runner-up in 12.50.
Rollins cruised through the first two rounds, winning by margins of 0.3 and 0.19 seconds in the prelim and semifinal, respectively. She posted consistent times, running 12.55 in the opening round and 12.54 in the semifinal. Her semifinal time was actually four hundredths slower than Pearson, but she made up for it in the final despite the slow start.
With the win, Rollins upped her unbeaten streak in the high hurdles to 25 straight in 2013. She was not been defeated in 17 collegiate races, and has not yet been beaten in eight races (including preliminary and semifinal rounds) since turning professional after the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.