Aries Merritt claims 110m hurdles Olympic gold

Aries Merritt stormed to Olympic 110m hurdles gold in a new personal best of 12.92 seconds as reigning champion Dayron Robles pulled up.

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I can't believe I came fourth in the Olympic Games.

Lawrence Clarke

Merritt's consistency was in evidence again as he dipped more than a 0.1 secs clear of American compatriot Jason Richardson in silver.

Jamaica's Hansle Parchment took bronze with Britain's 22-year-old Lawrence Clarke a fine fourth.

Merritt was out fast and stretched away from world champion Richardson.

"I trained for this, very intensely," said Merritt. "I was trying to treat this as much like a practice session as possible, where I have no pressure. The gold means everything. This is a dream come true."

Analysis

"That was a fantastic performance from Lawrence Clarke and he will be very happy with that fourth place. It is like a gold medal for him. He was aggressive and it was a really great performance. He was happy to battle with the top names in the world. It has been a very good year for him."

Robles had looked below his best in his semi-final and was later disqualified from the final, his title gone to Merritt down the track as he abandoned his race before 50m.

Clarke had qualified for the final with a personal best earlier in the evening and delivered in style after his team-mate Andy Turner had failed to progress from the semis.

Clarke said: "I can't believe I came fourth in the Olympic Games. I clashed arms with the South African [Lehann Fourie] and he's built like an American footballer, so maybe I would have run a PB, but I couldn't have got a medal - 13.12 secs for bronze is ridiculous.

"I treated the semi like a final and ran a personal best. I'm really pleased I was here. The crowd was amazing. My coach, Malcolm Arnold, has taken me from running 15.3 secs to 13.3 secs. I can't thank him enough."

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