I love this piece by Stuart Weir! Like Stuart has been saying all this year, the Women’s 100-meter hurdles will be amazing in Budapest! And in this piece, Stuart Weir puts it in perspective! 

The Women’s 100m hurdles is one of the toughest events in the entire athletics schedule. It will be a tremendous event in Budapest, do not miss it! 

Women’s sprint hurdles – pointers for Budapest

There was a fascinating women’s sprint hurdles race in Monaco, leaving me thinking about where the discipline is just a few weeks before Budapest. The first conclusion I am reaching is that the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2023 World Championships will be one of the program’s most open, intriguing, and exciting races.

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, 2022 Bermuda Games, photo by Kevin Morris

The Olympic champion is Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who ran 12.26 in Tokyo and who has run under 12.40 nine times.  At the 2022 World Championships, she ran (a wind-assisted) 12.23 but was only third behind Tobo Amusan and Britany Anderson.

Kenni Harrison, USATF New York Grand Prix
Continental Tour Gold
presented by Global Athletics & Marketing Inc., photo by Kevin Morris

2016 Keni Harrison ran 12.20 to break a world record that had stood since 1988.  In 2022 Tobi Amusan set a new WR of 12.12.  Amusan is currently under a  provisional suspension, having missed three drug tests in a 12-month span, which, unless lifted, will stop her from competing at the World Championships.

There have been five sprint hurdles races in the 2023 Diamond League series with three different winners:

Doha – Jasmine Camacho-Quinn 12.48

Lausanne – Jasmine Camacho-Quinn 12.40

Stockholm – Tobi Amusan 12.52 (forget the time, there was torrential rain)

Silesia – Tobi Amusan 12.34

Monaco – Nia Ali 12.30 (Keni Harrison second in 12.31, the second fastest DL time this year).

The event has traditionally had enormous American strength in depth – remember the 1-2-3 at the Rio Olympics, where some people felt that there were three other American hurdlers who had not made the Olympic team who would have been in the medals given the chance? At Monaco 2023, there was a US 1-2-3-4.

1 Nia Ali 12.30

2 Keni Harrsion 12.31

3 Alaysha Johnson 12.39

4 Tia Jones 12.39

In the 2022 World Champs, however, we had the bizarre situation of Alia Armstrong coming fourth but the other three Americans – Keni Harrison, Liz Clay, and Nia Ali all DQed.

USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023

The winner of the race in Monaco, Nia Ali, commented on her victory: “I feel amazing; it was a PR for me and the first time I won in a Diamond League. I cannot believe it; winning here in Monaco is lovely. I was able to give the best of myself here today. I started very fast, and then in the middle of the race, I told myself, ‘Do not fall asleep’. I fought for it because I felt a bit behind at the last hurdle, but then I just attacked the finish line and won. My objectives for the rest of the season are to stay healthy and improve my technique. I know that Budapest will be a strong competition and a fast race, so I am looking for it to the challenges”.

Nia Ali, 100m hurdle champ, Mom of 3, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

Harrison, the former world recorder holder, commented on Monaco: “I keep losing by 0.01 seconds, so it does not make me too happy. But on the other hand, everything may be different at the Worlds. In fact, to run this time and a season’s best and to take second place, it is all I can ask for. I still have a few things to work on. The field is full of strong opponents, it is good for our event. I am looking forward to Budapest”.

The second toughest event of 2023 – the US trials – ended. 

1 Nia Ali 12.37

2 Keni Harrrison 12.42

3 Masai Russell 12.46

4 Alaysha Johnson 12.46 (losing out on selection by 2 thousandths of a second)

5 Tia Jones 12.50

So where does not leave us in terms of predicting Budapest? Nia Ali will be 35 in October, but she is in the form of her life. Keni Harrison is a former world record holder and is running well.  Harrison has won 5 US Championships, 15 Diamond Leagues, and a World Indoors.  But she is yet to win a global outdoor title.  She failed to make the Olympic team in 2016 and was runner-up in Tokyo. She has recorded a second, a fourth, and two DQs in four world champs. 

It all looks wide open.

Masai Russell, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris