The opening round of the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report London, UK

Report: men's 110m hurdles heats – IAAF World Championships London 2017

Andrew Pozzi pulled up within the first twenty metres in his heat at the Olympic Games five years ago when he was beset by a hamstring injury but the European indoor 60m hurdles champion elicited the biggest roar of the programme by winning the fourth heat in 13.28.

Having improved his lifetime best to 13.14 this summer - a time surpassed only by Colin Jackson and Tony Jarrett among British athletes - Pozzi has been touted as a possible medal contender and his stock will have risen again after setting the fourth fastest time in the heats. In the same heat, Jamaica’s Ronald Levy - who has improved to 13.05 this summer - clattered through the first hurdle and pulled up abruptly.

Aries Merritt claimed the Olympic title in this stadium five years ago and the 32-year-old, who underwent a kidney transplant days after winning a bronze medal in Beijing two years ago, is back to full health and was the fastest across the five heats with 13.16 in his fifth successive World Championships appearance.

Olympic champion Omar McLeod opened proceedings with a 13.23 clocking from the inside lane in the first heat, a performance which was intrinsically every bit as good as Merritt’s as the Jamaican set his time against a headwind of 1.2 m/s. American champion Aleec Harris finished some way back, securing the fourth qualifying spot in 13.50.

Since reaching the Olympic final last year, Devon Allen has spent some significant time on the sidelines with an ACL knee injury sustained during a collegiate football match last September but the 22-year-old recovered in time for the US Championships where he finished third. His winning time of 13.26  from the second heat was the third fastest of the day, and the second fastest of his season.

Sergey Shubenkov has approached sub-13 territory this season but the reigning world champion had a chequered start to his title defence, clattering the fifth hurdle in the fifth heat but he still finished third in 13.47 - his slowest time of the season - which was won by Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega from Spain in 13.37.

The semifinals take place this evening at 8.10pm.

Steven Mills for the IAAF