(Reuters) - World champion Jason Richardson thinks it will take a world record to win the 110 meters hurdles at the London Olympics in what could be the fastest final of all time.
With world record holder Dayron Robles, former world record holder Liu Xiang and Richardson's in-form fellow American Aries Merritt also in the field, the London race looks set to be one of the highlights of the track competition
"It will arguably be the fastest Olympic final we've ever had in the hurdles," Richardson told reporters on Tuesday.
"It's probably going to take a world record so I'll put that out there.
"We definitely have so many capable athletes and whoever crosses the tape first will pretty much make history.
"I want to be that person and I'm training incredibly hard, whatever it takes to win is what I'm going to do."
Robles set the world record of 12.87 seconds before the Beijing Games in 2008.
China's Liu, the 2004 Olympic champion, matched it in Oregon last month but a tail-wind just over the allowed strength nullified it as a record.
It is the form of world indoor champion Merritt that has most excited aficionados of the event recently, however, and his three runs of 12.93 seconds in four weeks are the quickest legal runs of the year.
Richardson won the world title when Robles was disqualified for impeding Liu in the final in Daegu last year.
He has the fifth quickest time of the year in 12.98 but concedes that, outside his own family, he is not the favorite to win gold on August 8.
"From the season's perspective, I've been doing really well, just progressively getting better, which was the purpose of the training I've been doing," Richardson said.
"I've been on an incredible ride, I started off slow and I've definitely picked up speed.
"As far as going into this meet, I like where I am at as far as the predictions, I like being a possible medalist but also not being the favorite.
"My mom thinks I can win and I like having one person in my corner but other that I can just go out with the mentality of just going out there and doing my best."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
Thursday, August 2, 2012
6:28 AM dhm