Ailing Merritt takes bronze behind Shubenkov

Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:04pm EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Olympic champion Aries Merritt claimed an extraordinary bronze medal days before he undergoes a kidney transplant as Russian Sergey Shubenkov stormed to the world 110 meters hurdles title on Friday.

Shubenkov was left dumbfounded after flying over the hurdles to take a clear lead off the final barrier and crossing the line for his first global championship gold in 12.98 seconds.

"I can't describe what I'm feeling," the 24-year-old told reporters after breaking the Russian record.

"I don't remember anything about the race. I heard the starting gun and then I opened my eyes and it was finished.

"I wondered whether it was really happening, whether I might wake up. This is the best day of my life."

Hansle Parchment of Jamaica was second in 13.03 with world record holder Merritt third in 13.04 seconds, his best run of the year.

American Merritt, who was told he would never run again after being diagnosed with kidney disease in 2013, will receive the new organ from his sister in Arizona next week.

The 30-year-old got off to his usual explosive start and had an early lead before his lack of training took its toll and he faded over the final hurdles.   Continued...

Sergey Shubenkov of Russia (L) crosses the finish line to win the men's 110m hurdles final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach