06 December, 2018

Keni Harrison's world record

  • © Kirby Lee

She may have won the Diamond Trophy in style, but 2016 was a turbulent year for 100m hurdle star Keni Harrison, as she fought back from devastating lows to incredible highs. Her greatest triumph of all came at the London Diamond League meeting, where she clocked 12.20 to break the world record.

Harrison's season got off to a flying start as she soared to victories in the first two scoring Diamond League meetings of the season in Eugene and Birmingham. 

The win on home soil in Eugene saw her clock 12.24 to set a world lead and a new US record, and confirmed the rising star as a firm favourite to claim the Diamond Trophy and make a major impact at the Rio Olympics later that summer. 

Yet Harrison's sensational year suddenly hit the rocks a month later, when she failed to make the cut at the USATF Olympic trials and missed out on a ticket to Rio. 

Ahead of the London Diamond League, the young American was defiant, saying that while she was devastated to have missed out on the Olympics, she now hoped to win the Diamond Trophy and break the world record. 

Even for someone in Harrison's form, that seemed like a big ask, and yet the American delivered on both fronts. Just over a day later, she put in the finest performance of her career in the London Stadium to clock 12.20 and claim the world record. 

Initially unaware of what she had done, Harrison couldn't hold back the emotion when Nia Ali pointed to the screen to show her the record-breaking time. With Ali's arms around her, she broke down in tears of joy and fell to her  knees on the track. 

One season goal down, one more to go. From that moment on, there seemed little doubt that Harrison would deliver on her promise to secure the Diamond Trophy and, sure enough, she went on to grab victories in both Paris and Zürich to soar away from the competition claim the title.