Brown's record-breaking effort in 100m hurdles makes her favourite at 'Trials'

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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Barely three weeks after she turned 21 years old, Janeek Brown broke the Jamaican national 100m hurdles record that was set by Bridgitte Foster-Hylton on May 24, 2003.

Hylton's record of 12.45s stood for 16 years, but was broken by Brown, the former Wolmer's athlete, in the finals of the NCAA Division One Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas, on Saturday June 8th, 2019 when she sped to 12.40s.

Brown was only five years old when, at 29 years old, Foster-Hylton ran the Jamaican record of 12.45s. She would not have known that her destiny would be to break the record of one of Jamaica's most decorated female sprint hurdlers.

Foster-Hylton is the first Jamaican to win the gold medal in the event at the World Championships in 2009, the second being Danielle Williams, who won in 2015.

Those who have been following Brown's season would not be surprised by her record-breaking feat, however, as the Arkansas sophomore ran a personal best and then world-leading 12.55s to claim the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title before running another personal best of 12.53s in the semi-finals at the NCAA Championships.

In all of athletics, Brown is tied for the 15th fastest time with Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico in the event, bettering the times of famous names such as Jamaica's Michelle Freeman and Michelle Perry, and Lolo Jones of the United States.

Putting her performance into even greater context, Brown would have won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil by some distance based on time, as the gold went to Brianna Rollins of the USA who ran 12.48s to win the race in Rio.

Brown will now head into the National Senior Championships this weekend as firm favourite, even with more seasoned athletes such as former World Champion Danielle Williams and Megan Tapper set to face the starter's gun.

Brown has acknowledged that making the team to the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, is one of her main targets for 2019. The women's 100m final at “Trials” can easily be described as an absolute must-see event.

— Dwayne Richards

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