From the start of the action in the 100m hurdles, it was certain to athletes that a new Olympic champion would be crowned, following the absence of current holder, Sally Pearson. The final lived up to expectations, as a worthy gold medalist was celebrated; 25-year-old Brianna Rollins.
Rollins - the worthy champion
It was clear from the beginning that Rollins was the name on everyone’s lips, as she stormed to victory in the first round, running the fastest time in the heats. The expectations of Rollins expanded again after her terrific run in the semi-finals, as she stretched the field, clocking the fastest time across the three heats. Rollins fulfilled the huge pressure on her shoulders following her impeccable performances in the rounds prior to the final; the American crossed the line in first place, confirming her as the new Olympic champion.
It was Rollins’ first Olympic victory, the 2013 World Champion failed to even compete at the 2012 Olympic Games as she was unable to make the American team to travel to London that summer. Following her World Championship win the year after, she became quickly one of the names on the shortlist for American fans to expect a medal from.
With no Pearson or Harper-Nelson in her way to claiming a medal, Rollins stepped up to the mark throughout the games, being the far dominant athlete in the event from the beginning.
Medal delight for team USA
Rollins ran to victory in the final, clocking a time of 12.48s – 0.1 seconds faster than the silver medalist – fellow American Nia Ali. Despite being the peak of the 100m hurdles race, the American team had far more to celebrate than the gold medal alone, as Rollins was joined on the podium by Ali and bronze medalist, Kristi Castlin.
The Americans claimed another three track medals to add to their impressive overall tally across the games, Rollins’ gold being the focal point of interest. It was a photo finish to determine which of the Americans would claim the silver and bronze medals, as 0.02 seconds was the difference between Ali and Castlin’s positioning.
Team GB impress in the final
While the final was claimed by team USA, Team GB were agonisingly close to a medal as Cindy Ofili placed fourth in the final, a huge achievement for the young hurdler who is building towards her prime form at the 2020 games.
Ofili finished three places above her sister, Tiffany Porter, who when predicting the results, would have perhaps been placed above Cindy. Porter finished in seventh in the final, making the concluding race as a fastest loser thanks to the savage events that sadly took place in the second semi-final.
It was a fantastic achievement for a truly inspiring athlete in the form of Brianna Rollins, a competitor at the top of her physical and psychological performance. A memorable night for America too, claiming all the medals to take home with them when Rio 2016 concludes.