Oliver smiling after long-awaited hurdles gold

MOSCOW, (Reuters) – Perennially cheerful American David Oliver finally had something to really smile about on Monday as a powerful run earned him the world 110 metres hurdles gold medal and the global title he so richly deserves.

Oliver, who missed last year’s Olympics after a wretched time with injury, had been the form athlete all year and ran impressively throughout the competition in Moscow.

He led early in the final and maintained his form to take an emotional victory in 13.00 seconds, the fastest time of the season.

American dreams of a clean sweep came up just short as veteran Ryan Wilson took silver in 13.13 but a last-hurdle stumble by defending champion Jason Richardson allowed Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov to snatch bronze in 13.24.

Olympic champion and world record holder Aries Merritt ran a ragged race and could finish only sixth.

“You know how hard it is to win a title, it’s my first one and after a couple of years with some injuries it feels good,” the 31-year-old Oliver, who came to Moscow as the world leader with 13.04 seconds, told reporters.

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