Athletics world in shock over 'horrible' drama at world championships

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Nia Ali, pictured here after her fall in the heats of the 100m hurdles at the world championships.
Nia Ali fell in the heats of the 100m hurdles at the world championships. Image: Getty

The athletics world has been left devastated for American runner Nia Ali after the defending champion crashed out of the 100m hurdles at the world championships after a nasty fall in her heat.

Ali, who won gold at the last world championships in 2019, failed to advance to the semi-finals after her devastating fall in Oregon on Saturday.

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The 33-year-old came unstuck when she tripped over the penultimate hurdle while leading her heat and then tumbled into the last one.

She cried out in agony as she fell to the track before walking away looking completely shattered.

"I had my speed but it just happened," Ali said.

"This is the first time that it happened to me. It is really unfortunate that it happened here.

"Typically, where I stumble or hit the hurdle, I can recover from it. I was hoping to, but the stumble was just too deep."

Ali said crashing out was "part of my journey and I have to embrace every part of it".

"I am not incredibly happy about it but I have to overcome it. I wanted to do my very best in front of the home crowd. I was prepared to show a fast time, I was prepared for it," she added.

Nia Ali, pictured here after a devastating fall in the hurdles heats at the world championships.
Nia Ali suffered a devastating fall in the hurdles heats at the world championships. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

The US team suffered a double blow at Hayward Field as Alaysha Johnson was also a non-finisher after rattling into her first hurdle in heat four of six.

And it was also heartbreak for Australia with Liz Clay suffering a heavy fall.

Clay was taken straight to the medical room after clattering into the seventh barrier in her heat and crashing to the track.

Australia's No.1 hurdler was set to have an X-ray on her foot.

The 27-year-old Queenslander only just missed out on a berth in last year's Tokyo Olympics final and had high hopes for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Fans and commentators were left stunned by the carnage in the hurdles heats.

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn eases into semi-finals

There was no such drama for Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, with the Olympic champion sailing through in 12.52sec.

Jamaica's Danielle Williams - bronze medallist in Doha three years ago - and her teammate - Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper - also qualified with ease.

Camacho-Quinn said she had been content to just make it through qualification.

"I was not like trying to put on a super fast time, I just wanted to make it through," the Puerto Rican said.

Liz Clay, pictured here falling in the 100m hurdles heats at the world championships.
Liz Clay falls in the 100m hurdles heats at the world championships. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

"So I just take the win. I am looking forward to this race to be honest... I just want to enjoy all this experience.

"It's my first worlds, I am definitely looking forward to everything tomorrow. I was really nervous but I take what I have got today.

"Today it was just a warm-up. I will be ready tomorrow."

In much better news for Australia, Michelle Jenneke and Celeste Mucci both advanced to the semis.

Jenneke was particularly impressive, clocking 12.84 seconds in a heat also involving world record holder Kendra Harrison from the US.

Liz Clay, pictured here being consoled by Pia Skrzyszowska after falling in the 100m hurdles heats.
Liz Clay is consoled by Pia Skrzyszowska after falling in the 100m hurdles heats. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for World Athletics)

"I am ecstatic with that," Jenneke told AAP.

"I've come into these championships with one real goal and that's to run a PB.

"I didn't quite get that today but to be that close, just 0.02 off my best and I think my PB was with a 1.2m tailwind and today was into a small headwind.

"I don't think I executed the end of my race that well so there's still some time there."

Mucci clocked 13.01 while Nigerian Tobi Amusan topped the timesheets with an African record time of 12.40.

with agencies

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