The world record in the men’s 110-meter hurdles has stood for nearly a decade. The mark in the 400 hurdles has been practically untouchable, going all the way back to 1992.
But on a balmy night at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Saturday, both of those records nearly fell — and in the span of just 45 minutes.
In a dominant back-to-back display, 110-meter hurdler Grant Holloway and 400-meter hurdler Rai Benjamin each came a fraction of a second away from immortality at Hayward Field, cruising to victory in their respective finals — and showing why the United States likely will be favored to sweep the men’s hurdles events at the Tokyo Olympics.
Holloway, the 23-year-old Florida product, was agonizingly close to breaking Aries Merritt’s world record in his semifinal heat, finishing one-hundredth of a second behind the all-time mark with a time of 12.81 seconds. He went on to win the final with a time of 12.96.