Tokyo previews – Men’s 110m Hurdles

Tokyo is denied one of its most exciting duels courtesy of Omar McLeod hitting the first hurdle and crashing in the Jamaican trials. In doing so he lost the opportunity to defend his Olympic title. Grant Holloway remains, as do a host of other challengers and there may even be a home medal. Here’s our men’s 110m hurdles preview for Tokyo.


Tuesday 3 August 11:10 UK Time (Round 1) Wednesday 4 August 03:00 (Semifinals) Thursday 5 August 03:55 UK Time (Final)

2021 fastest times

2021 RankingsTime (s)AthleteCountry
112.81Grant HollowayUSA
213.01Omar McLeodJamaica
313.06Shunsuke IzumiyaJapan
413.08Ronald LevyJamaica
513.1Rasheed BroadbellJamaica
513.1Devon AllenUSA
713.11Daniel RobertsUSA
713.11Damion ThomasJamaica
913.15Wilhem BelocianFrance
913.15Orlando OrtegaSpain

British interest

David King and Andrew Pozzi are the Brits in Tokyo. They have run 13.37 and 13.25 respectively this year. Such is the level of world hurdling at present that Pozzi will have to get back to his 13.14 personal best to challenge in Tokyo but he will benefit from a championship where the only pressure is that which he places on himself. He can make the final and then we shall see.

The favourites

Reigning World Champ Grant Holloway starts as a big favourite for Tokyo and is the only man to have broken 13 seconds this year. He has been undefeated in 13 outings this year and the main question will be how he can react to the pressure of being the favourite for Tokyo gold. He may well break the world record having come within one hundredth of a second this year.

Fellow Americans Devon Allen and Daniel Roberts could be in medal contention. For both it would be a first global medal, though Allen was fifth in Rio and seventh in the Doha World Champs.

In any other Olympics Shunsuke Izumiya may well be the face of the Tokyo games. Only twenty-one he hasn’t raced outside Japan but won impressively at the Japan championships. His 13.06 is a world class time and will see him as a genuine medal prospect should he find consistency.

By virtue of his Jamaican trials win, Ronald Levy has to be in the mix. He won in Gateshead recently but was fourth in Székesfehérvár behind Holloway, Orlando Ortega and Sergey Shubenkov. Damion Thomas (13.11) and Hansle Parchment, the bronze medalist from London make up the rest of the team and could take advantage of any slip ups from the favourites.

Both Ortega of Spain and Shubenkov of Russia (anything but neutral) will be in medal contention. Shubenkov has medalled in each of the last four World Championships and won that title in 2015. Ortega is the silver medalist from Rio and won bronze in the Doha World Champs.

Our medal predictions

  1. Grant Holloway
  2. Orlando Ortega
  3. Sergey Shubenkov


WR: 12.80 Aries Merritt (2012)

OR: 12.91 Liu Xiang (2004 Athens)

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Featured image “File:2008 Summer Olympics – Men’s 110m Hurdles – Semifinal 1.jpg” by akiwitz is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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