RIO DE JANEIRO—University of Oregon standout Devon Allen (above/photo courtesy University of Oregon), the reigning NCAA and USA national champion who spent part of his childhood in the Puget Sound area, finished fifth in the finals of the Olympic 110 meter hurdles Tuesday night at Estádio Olímpico João Havelange.
Allen ran 13.31 in the finals, as Omar McLeod of Jamaica won the Olympic title, running 13.05, with former Cuban Orlando Ortega, now representing Spain second in 13.17. Dimitri Bascou of France was third in 13.24.
In the semis earlier in the evening, Allen, an outstanding wide receiver for the Ducks, who also won the Pac-12 title earlier this year, advanced as one of the two time qualifiers, finishing third in the second of three heats in 13.36.
Following his race, Allen said, “It was a good experience, solid race, obviously I wanted to compete and win but to place fifth in the world isn’t bad at all.”
“I was just kind of focused on myself, focused on being clean [over the hurdles], which I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. But it was a great experience, my first international competition as well as my first Olympic Games, I did pretty well.”
“I wanted to compete. As an athlete, I always think that I am the best at whatever I do. So going out there obviously I want to run fast. Obviously these guys are great competitors, and they’ve shown that time and time again.”
Allen, who did not run a particularly clean race, said, “In general it’s all about they’re hurdles and they’re in your way, it’s about maneuvering and managing those barriers, and put yourself in the right body position, and my position wasn’t as great as I would want it to be, and that’s why my time wasn’t as fast.”
In the women’s javelin, Vancouver native Kara Winger’s best throw of 200-2 (61.02m) in round 1 almost held up to advance her to the finals, but she was nosed out on the penultimate throw of round 3 by Kathryn Mitchell of Australia, who threw 202-2 (61.63m) to take the 12th and final spot.
Winger, who went into the Olympics with a slight issue in her left knee, said “I have never been in 13th before, I have been way down on the list, I am frustrated that this year isn’t what it could have been, for reasons that I feel like were beyond my control, but I did everything I could with what I had. I just haven’t felt this pain in a while.”
“I have had three meets now over 61 meters in this season, because I have had three meets this season, I can’t be mad at that for the way that I have felt all year training. It has been really challenging just to battle everyday and fight through some things that have happened. My body felt better felt better than it has all year today, so it should have gone farther and it didn’t because I haven’t executed those positions enough times without pain to know exactly what they feel like in competition.”
“I am proud of what I did, I know that I could have made the final. I have never felt more ready, so that’s the hardest part.”
Bonney Lake HS grad and Federal Way resident Jordin Andrade’s bid to become the first athlete in any sport from Cape Verde to advance to an Olympic final fell short, as he finished sixth in the second of three semi-finals in the men’s 400 hurdles, running 49.32.
Earlier in the day, University of Washington grad Diamara Planell Cruz, representing Puerto Rico, cleared the first height of 13-7.25 (4.15m), but was not able to advance to the finals.
Washington State University assistant coach Angela Whyte of Canada finished sixth in heat 3 of the first round o the women’s 100 hurdles and did not advance, as the three-time Olympian ran 13.09.
Wednesday, Newport HS and University of Washington grad Jeremy Taiwo begins competition in the two-day men’s decathlon that starts at 5:30 am Seattle time with the 100 meters, and ends 12 hours later with the fifth event, the 400.
Washington State University hall of famer Bernard Lagat along with former Puyallup resident Hassan Mead will run in the semi-final round of the men’s 5000 meters at 6 am (10 am in Rio), while Seattle resident Justine Fedronic, who trains with the Beasts TC, will compete in the first round of the women’s 800 meters at 6:55 am, Seattle time.
Results from day 5 and start lists for day 6 of the Olympic track & field competition are available here.
NOTE: The IAAF and USA Track & Field contributed to this report.