LONDON – Kentucky track and field Class of 2015 alumna Kendra Harrison broke the 28-year-old world record in the 100-meter hurdles, winning the Diamond League London Anniversary Games, on Friday at the Olympic Stadium.
Harrison blitzed the world-class field, running 12.20 (+0.3) to break Yordanka Donkova’s previous world record of 12.21 from 1988.
“I wanted to come out here with a vengeance to show these girls what I have,” Harrison said.
“That 12.40 got my confidence back. I knew I had it in me, I ran as hard as I could today.”
Harrison – who still trains in Lexington under Kentucky head coach Edrick Floréal, and serves as a volunteer assistant coach on the current staff – finished sixth at the United States Olympic Team Trials earlier this month, missing out on selection for next month’s Olympic Games. Harrison was shown on television going to embrace with her coach in the stands shortly after seeing her historic time.
The 2015 NCAA indoor/outdoor short hurdles champion for UK showed her intent in her preliminary heat earlier in the day, winning easily in 12.40. In the final, the 23-year-old Harrison got out of the blocks quickly and was away from the field by the third hurdle. Harrison’s compatriots finished 2-4 behind her, with U.S. Olympic Trials champion Brianna Rollins coming in at 12.57, and Rollins’s fellow Olympic teammates Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali finishing in 12.59 and 12.63, respectively.
It was Harrison’s second record-breaking performance of the year. She set the American record of 12.24 on May 28 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. She has earned USATF Athlete of the Week three times this year, her last for her then-American record in Eugene.