Rollins leads U.S. hurdles sweep

Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:14am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brianna Rollins gave the United States its first track medal of the Rio Olympics when she won the 100 meters hurdles final on Wednesday, leading Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin across the line for an American podium sweep.

Favorite Rollins, who owned the fastest personal best in the field, ran an almost flawless race from lane six to add Olympic gold to her 2013 world title by a couple of paces in 12.48 seconds.

Ali was clear in second place when she crossed the line to take silver in 12.59 but Castlin, who was fourth over the final hurdle, faced a nervous wait before discovering she had done enough in the dash to the finish to take bronze in 12.61.

The trio of friends shrieked in delight and jumped up and down on the track in an embrace when the scoreboard confirmed they had secured the first Olympic podium sweep in the women's sprint hurdles.

"I knew I got the gold, I just wanted to make sure my team mates medaled as well," Rollins told reporters.

"It's like a sisterhood, Kristi and I train together and tonight we prayed together to give us the confidence we need to get us through these rounds and come out here and fulfill our dreams.

"I'm just so grateful we were able to accomplish this together."

Cindy Ofili, who was also born in the United States but has an English mother and elected to run for Britain, pushed Castlin right to the line with her best run of the year but lost out on a medal by two hundredths of a second in 12.63.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Semifinal - Women's 100m Hurdles Semifinals - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/08/2016. Brianna Rollins (USA) of USA competes. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson