Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Harper Wins Olympic Hurdles

American Dawn Harper sprung a huge surprise when a dramatic mistake by compatriot Lolo Jones let her through to win Olympic gold in the women's 100 meters hurdles on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Harper fought back her own tears of joy after crossing the line in 12.54 seconds and admitted her victory was a shock.

"I always thought I was capable if I focused on myself. But for others, yes (it was a surprise)," she said.

"I just knew I needed to react to the gun, and just you know, head down, and focus on me and be quick and attack each hurdle and then head for the line."

Harper comes from the same city, East St Louis, as three-times Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee and is coached by the former heptathlete's husband.

"This is a kid nobody knew, now she is the Olympic champion. It's breathtaking," Bob Kersee said, adding that his wife had given Harper a pep talk last year when she was not running very well.

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