March 6, 2004
Carolina’s contingent at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships had a banner day Saturday in Budapest, Hungary, led by Allen Johnson’s victory in the 60m hurdles.
Johnson, a volunteer assistant coach at USC, won his third world indoor gold medal in the men’s 60m hurdles, tying Greg Foster’s American record and posting the #2 time in history with his winning time of 7.36. Only world record holder Colin Jackson of Great Britain has run faster, with his 7.30 run 10 years ago to the day, on March 6, 1994. His victorious time was seven-hundredths of second faster than his closest competition.
A four-time world champion outdoors, Johnson could not contain a wide smile after adding the 2004 world indoor hurdles title to his wins in 1995 and 2003. And he had reason to smile – he had been off his form all day, running 7.68 in the first round and 7.58 in the semifinals, where he had to rely on his time to qualify him for the final.
“The final was good,” Johnson said. “When the gun went off, I just ran as hard as I could. The semifinals were a total disaster – when the gun went off, my legs were dead. Honestly, I was scared to death [entering the final]. I hadn’t had my rhythm all day long. I faced a lot of adversity today, but I was able to pull it out and run a new personal best. It gives me confidence that no matter how bad I feel, I can still find a way to win.”
Former Gamecock Tonique Williams finished third in the women’s 400m. She ran a time of 50.87 for her native Bahamas. Williams ran the second-fastest semi-final time earlier in the day with a mark of 51.85.
Jimmie Hackley, also a former USC athlete, advanced to Sunday’s final of the men’s 200 meters by placing second in his semifinal heat. Running in the tight turns of lane 3, Hackley was second in 20.94 to advance. He had run 20.95 in his first-round race.
Sunday’s events also include former Gamecock Demetria Washington and USC signee Natasha Hastings, who are both scheduled to run on Team USA’s 4x400m women’s relay team.
Complete meet results and schedules are available at www.iaaf.org.