Harrison and Holloway shine in Boston as hurdle meeting records tumble
Meeting records tumbled across all four hurdles events at the 2021 edition of the adidas Boost Boston Games, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series event, with Kendra Harrison and Grant Holloway leading the record-rampage.
With the 100m hurdles, Harrison lined up in what promised to be the most competitive field of the day, featuring four of the top six women in the current world rankings. Not fazed by her competition, the world record-holder produced a flawless race to stop the clock at 12.49 – the fastest time any woman has ever recorded on the streets of Boston.
Equally impressive was the performance of her compatriot and 60m hurdles world indoor record-holder Grant Holloway. At yesterday’s pre-meet press conference, the 2019 world champion at 110m hurdles admitted that the adidas Boost Boston Games were “one of the meets [he’d] always dreamed of going to”. His race today proved he had all right to be excited about taking his hurdling prowess to the streets.
In a display of utter dominance, Holloway left the rest of the 110m hurdles field, which included the likes of world record-holder Aries Merritt, trailing him by several meters to take the victory in a meeting record 13.20.
“It meant a lot [to line up alongside Aries Merrit],” Holloway told NBC after his race. “He’s one of my mentors. I try to model myself on him and he’s like an older brother to me. It feels good to have him next to me, but at the end of the day, I’m trying to have what he has.”
While Harrison and Holloway lived up to their status as favourites, it was Shiann Salmon who produced one of the biggest surprises of the day. The 22-year-old Jamaican not only defeated an experienced field including in-form Shamier Little, she also clocked a 200m hurdles world best of 24.86, bettering the previous mark by 0.19. Little’s mark in second place of 24.91 was also faster than the previous best in the rarely contested event.
On the men’s side it was Brazil’s Alison dos Santos who completed the quartet of hurdles meeting records. The 2019 Pan American champion beat America’s Amere Lattin in a meeting record of 22.11 – just 0.01 outside the world best.
Miller-Uibo continues adidas Boost Boston Games winning streak
You know an athlete is in world-beating shape, when they make the second fastest time in history look like a jog in the park. That’s what Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo did when striding to a 22.08 victory at 200m.
“I like running 200m on a straight,” said the three-time world medallist. “I struggle a bit with running the bends on a regular track. A straight 200m looks longer, but once you get past that, it’s fine.”
On the men’s side, it was Jerome Blake who proved his Tokyo preparations are well on track. The Canadian held off Zharnel Hughes to take the victory in a personal best 19.89. Sadly, Miller-Uibo’s new training partner Wayde van Niekerk had to delay his winning return to international competition for another day. The 400m world record-holder looked in contention for 90 per cent of the race, before pulling up over the final meters, later confirming a hip issue unrelated to his previous injury caused him to abandon the race as a precaution.
In the men’s 150m, Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards secured a win over former 100m world champion Yohan Blake in a national record 14.75, while the men’s 100m saw Isiah Young get the better of 200m world champion Noah Lyles. Young got off to a great start, leaving Lyles with too much to do over the closing stages of the race and finished in a season’s best 9.94. On the women’s side, Aleia Hobbs took the win over local star Gabby Thomas in 11.05.
Lynna Irby once more proved her all-round talent to take the women’s 150m in 16.53, while world 200m silver medalist Brittany Brown finished second in 16.65.
“People think of me as a 400m runner, but I say I’m simply a sprinter,” Irby told NBC after her race. She is looking to line up over both the 200m and the 400m at the US Olympic Trials next month.
In the Boys’ and Girls’ adidas Dream 100m the coveted winners’ belts found new owners in Jasmine Montgomery and Jordan Anthony who won their races in 11.27 and 10.45 respectively.
One of the standout performances of the day came from 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton in the fittingly titled adidas Future Stars 100m. The two-sport athlete stopped the clock at 10.16, just 0.01 shy of the world U18 record held by Cleveland Browns WR Anthony Schwartz.
Goule and Arop secure wins at Watertown
While track racing took center stage in the afternoon, the 2021 adidas Boost Boston Games kicked off with middle distance action in the morning at Watertown outside the city center. The nation’s fastest high schoolers lined up in the Girls’ and Boys’ adidas Dream Mile having received their race invitations by pro adidas athletes via social media, while the pros took on the Mile and 600m.
The women’s Mile and the adidas Girls’ Dream Mile proved a perfect pairing of pro patron and high school athlete. 2019 winner Nikki Hiltz produced an impressive race with a two-second 4:31 victory, while in Sophie Atkinson one of their Dream athletes delivered a dominant win in 4:41.
On the men’s side things were a little tighter. 2016 Olympic bronze medalist at 800m Clayton Murphy kicked late to take the Mile victory in 4:01 by less than 0.2 ahead of Sam Prakel and Eric Avila. In the Boys’ adidas Dream Mile Reinhardt Harrison was setting the pace for most of the race but couldn’t respond to Ethan Strand’s attack over the final quarter mile, with Strand crowned the victor in 4:10.
Over the shorter distances, Jamaica’s Natoya Goule delivered a 600m pacing masterclass to outsprint 800m world bronze medalist Ajee’ Wilson for the win in a world-leading 1:24. Canada’s Marco Arop produced a dominant gun-to-tape victory in the men’s race, stopping the clock at 1:15.