DAEGU, South Korea — Olympic champion Dayron Robles was disqualified for interfering with Chinese star Liu Xiang in the 110-meter hurdles Monday, giving runner-up Jason Richardson of the United States the victory in one of the most anticipated races at the world championships.
There was less suspense in the women’s 100 meters, as Carmelita Jeter of the United States beat Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica to win gold. Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago took bronze.
In a race almost as controversial as the 100 final disqualification of Usain Bolt a day earlier, Robles crossed the line first, but Liu appealed after the Cuban tangled with him over the two last hurdles, which dropped Liu into third place.
An appeal by the Cubans was denied, giving the gold medal to Richardson. The American benefited when Liu slowed down after contact was made with Robles, and finished second.
“When I approached the ninth hurdle, Robles pulled me. It made me slow down,” said Liu, who was moved up to second. “At first, I thought I would be the champion or at least second. But Robles pulled me.”
Instead it was Richardson, who said he was just doing the best he could.
“Whatever reward I get from doing my best, I will accept. If it’s gold, silver or bronze, it doesn’t matter,” Richardson said. “It’s bittersweet. You never want to see someone as talented as Robles disqualified.”
The decision left the Cubans angry.
“He won the race. That’s what we know,” said Robles’ coach, Santiago Antunez.
Liu was adamant there was interference between the runners in the neighboring lanes.
With David Oliver, Robles and Liu, the three fastest men in history lining up against each other, an exciting race was assured.
Oliver was the first man out, but plowed into the second hurdle and never recovered. Robles had used his quick start to build a sizable lead, but Liu nearly caught him with two of the 10 hurdles remaining.
Robles and Liu first seemed to touch when clearing the ninth hurdle, and then again on the final one. Liu caught the final hurdle between his legs and lost vital momentum as he fell back.
Oliver, a pre-race favorite from the U.S. who ended up fourth, said such tangles in an action-packed race should be no reason to change the result.
“So he might have gotten dq for hitting Liu, man that happens almost every single hurdle race, happened to me in the semi…tough break,” Oliver wrote on Twitter.
Robles finished in 13.14 seconds, followed by Richardson in 13.16 and Liu in 13.27. Turner finished in 13.44, the same official time as Oliver.
In the women’s 100, defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had the best start. But Jeter swept past her with about 40 meters to go and finished in 10.90 seconds.
Campbell-Brown ran in the outside lane and finished in 10.97 seconds. Baptiste had a time of 10.98.
In the women’s 400 meters, American Allyson Felix was edged at the finish line by Amantle Montsho, who gave Botswana its first-ever medal at the world championships.
Felix, a three-time world champion in the 200, was even with Montsho as they entered the final straight but couldn’t overtake her down the stretch.
Montsho won in a national record time of 49.56 seconds. Felix was second in 49.59 and Anastasiya Kapachinskaya of Russia was third in 50.24.
“I’m so happy today to win my gold medal. I still can’t believe it,” said Montsho. “I want to thank all the athletes today. They made me run faster, especially Allyson Felix.”
Felix, who was trying become the first woman to win both the 200 and 400 titles at the worlds, said it was the kind of tight race she had expected.
“I didn’t want Montsho to get too far away from me. I probably could have moved a little bit earlier,” she said. “I knew it would be a battle down the home stretch. I felt like I gave it everything I had but came up short.”
Felix said she was disappointed with second but wouldn’t let it distract her from preparing to defend her title in the 200.
“The way I look at, I can’t dwell on the defeat. I have more work to do,” Felix said. “The 200 is my favorite event. I am excited for it. I have to go after it. I can’t let this get me too down. I have to keep moving.”
Defending champion Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States finished seventh in 51.32.
In the men’s pole vault, Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland won the gold medal, clearing 19 feet, 4 inches. Silver medalist Lazaro Borges of Cuba also cleared 19-4 , but Wojciechowski won gold because he had fewer missed attempts.
Renaud Lavillenie of France took the bronze. Defending world champion Steve Hooker did not qualify for the final.
Koji Murofushi of Japan won the men’s hammer throw, edging Krisztian Pars of Hungary. Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia claimed bronze.
Murofushi twice threw 266 feet, 6 inches to win gold, holding off Pars by just 2 inches. Kozmus had a mark of 260-5.
Murofushi, the 2004 Olympic champion, won his first world title at 36.
In the women’s shot put, Valerie Adams of New Zealand defended her title, winning with a throw of 69-8 . Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus was second with 65-9 and Jillian Camarena-Williams of the U.S. took third with 65-8 .
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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