Merritt changes secret codes to inspire new record

Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:59am EST
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By Iain Rogers

BARCELONA (Reuters) - After Aries Merritt set a world record of 12.80 seconds in the 110 meters hurdles in September he changed his PIN codes to the faster mark he is targeting next year.

"My numbers have all been changed and it is a number faster than 12.80," the 27-year-old American Olympic champion told a news conference at the International Association of Athletics Federations centenary on Friday.

"Hopefully I'll be able to run remotely close to it," he added with a smile.

Atlanta native Merritt described his 2012 season, when he capped an impressively consistent year with Olympic gold in London before breaking the world record, as "just like a fairytale".

Also winning the world indoor title, he ran the seven fastest times in the world and the eight races in which he broke 13 seconds were the most run in a single season.

"I was landing back in the States and all I could do was just laugh because it was over," he said. "So I'm really excited about this year and about next year too."

His coaches had assessed his record-setting performance at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels and concluded that if he had not made a couple of errors he could have run 12.70, Merritt said.

"They said my approach could have been a little bit better and they said I kind of floated the last hurdle a little bit.   Continued...

Aries Merritt of the U.S. competes in the men's 110m hurdles event at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, also known as Memorial Van Damme in Brussels September 7, 2012. Merritt set a new world record of 12.80 seconds REUTERS/Eric Vidal