was easily the world's dominant 110-meter hurdler in 2010, but he picked the wrong season to do so, a year with no outdoor global championship. Oliver was surpassed by other hurdlers in 2011 and 2012, but he climbed back on top in 2013, winning the World Championship final in a world-leading 13 seconds, his best time since 2011.
As the event started, however, many eyes were on world record-holder Aries Merritt, rather than Oliver. Merritt was trying to come back from an injury was far from his Olympic-winning form of 2012, although he won his first heat in 13.32 seconds. Oliver was easily the fastest during the heats, finishing in 13.05.
The first semifinal became a huge mess as the field took off despite some twitching before the start that resulted in Merritt and 2009 World champ Ryan Brathwaite being left behind at the line. Merritt rallied furiously to gain the third and final automatic qualifying spot, but Brathwaite did not. Additionally, two runners dropped out with injuries, including 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Hansle Parchment of Jamaica. Defending World champion Jason Richardson won the heat in 13.34. The second heat was smoother, with Sergey Shubenkov of Russia winning in 13.17, ahead of Oliver in 13.18.
Oliver started well in the final and didn't fade, as the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist won his first international championship. American Ryan Wilson was second in 13.13. Richardson bumped the last hurdle and fell to fourth, which cost the U.S. a 1-2-3 finish, as Shubenkov passed Richardson in the final meters to take third in 13.24. Merritt simply didn't have enough time to get back to top form after his injury, as he finished sixth in 13.31.
There was no consensus favorite entering the 400-meter hurdles, but Jehue Gordon of Trinidad & Tobago was strong from day one and eventually nipped American Michael Tinsley by one-hundredth of a second in an exciting finish. Tinsley and Javier Culson started fast, but Culson faded down the stretch. Tinsley remained strong, running a personal best 47.70, but Gordon caught up during the final two hurdles and his lean at the finish gave him the gold medal in a world-leading 47.69. Emir Bekric was a surprising third, running a Serbian national record 48.05.
Tinsley was the fastest in the opening heats, finishing in 49.07 seconds. Omar Cisneros of Cuba ran a then world-leading 47.93 to post the fastest time in the semifinal round.
4 x 100-Meter Relay:
The men’s 4 x 100 final went according to form, with Usain Bolt
leading Jamaica to victory in 37.36 seconds, followed by the United States. in 37.66. Replays showed that American anchor Justin Gatlin may have left his lane momentarily, but the U.S. was awarded its medals. No such luck for Great Britain, which crossed the line third in 37.80, but was disqualified for exchanging the baton well outside of the zone. As a result, Canada received the bronze medal with a time of 37.92. The first three American runners – Charles Silmon, Mike Rodgers and Rakieem Salaam – ran evenly with Jamaica’s Nester Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade. Gatlin then ran well for the U.S., but nobody was going to catch Bolt.
The British team beat Jamaica – without Bolt in the lineup – in the first heat, finishing in 38.12 to Jamaica's 38.17. The U.S. won the second heat in 38.06 and Germany the third in 38.13.
4 x 400-Meter Relay:
The United States entered the longer relay as a huge favorite and didn't disappoint. The Americans were the fastest during the heats, winning in 259.85, even without the top two finishers from the 400-meter final, LaShawn Merritt
and Tony McQuay. The U.S. was then predictably dominant in the final, running away with the gold medal. America's David Verburg gave McQuay a slim lead after one lap, then the 400-meter silver medalist expanded the gap, which No. 3 runner Arman Hall maintained. Once Merritt gained the baton the race for gold was over, as the 400-meter champion gave the Americans the victory in 2:58.71. Jamaica held off a late Russian charge to take second in 2:59.88, with the Russians .02 behind.