Shanghai, China, 9:40PM, I added my name in the books as the 42nd sub 13 performance in the history of the 110 hurdle event. Only 12 individuals have accounted for all of those performances and I've personally added my name three times.
I stopped the clock in 12.99 (-0.4w), winning the first Diamond League race for the 110 hurdles this season. In the process I broke the stadium record of 13.01 set by Dayron Robles back in 2007.
So far in my last three races, I have run seasons bests as well as broken the stadium records, all of which got exponentially harder to do. 13.34 in Puerto Rico, 13.14 in Korea and 13.01 in Shanghai.
The conditions at the meet weren't ideal, but I come from a school of thought that it doesn't matter how you feel, when your name is called, you have to perform.
Stepping out on that track Sunday night was amazing. Having Liu back in action in his hometown and hearing the crowd reaction to that as well as the introductions had me super crunk! The energy was crazy! I don't think people understand that we feed off that energy from the crowd and it fuels our performances. Maybe it doesn't for everybody, but I definitely feel it and that's why I think that meets like Shanghai, Zurich and New York in the sprints and Eugene and Brussels in the distance events generally produce great times. The crowds are ALL the way into the events.
When it came to the race though, once the crowd settled down, it was time to focus up. The gun went off and I got a better start than I had the other day in Korea and I felt like I had the race won by the time we got to hurdle three. I had a great warm up and I was able to carry that over to the race, sometimes you'll see people leave the race right over at the warm up stadium.
I felt like I faltered a bit coming off the tenth hurdle, like I rushed it trying to hurry to the finish line. I collapsed and was digging to the finish instead of driving thru the tape. As soon as i crossed I took a peak at the clock and it read 13.01 and my first thought was "Damn!" Being so close to sub 13 and equaling the record was good, but being so close was a quick disappointment.
That quickly changed by the time I received the flowers and looked at the main scoreboard and it read 1 David Oliver USA 12.99 -0.4 and I thought "Yes!!" To me it is light years between being one of many 13.0's to being one of so few 12.9's even if the difference may be only 12.99 to 13.01.
Chinese hurdlers Shi Dongpeng and Liu Xiang rounded out the podium, running 13.39 and 13.40 respectively. It was good seeing Liu back out there and competing well after a set back from injury. I have no doubt in my mind that whenever the next time I see him at a race, he will be ready to roll to something in the 13.1 range at least.
This morning in China, this picture was on the cover of every newspaper I saw. Even on the newspapers they have on plane had the picture gracing the cover, it definitely made for an interesting flight.
After a great Asian swing, I have now headed out to Sacramento for the California Relays that will be held this upcoming weekend.
4 weeks ago