Perry Advances to 100m Hurdles Final at World Championships

Aug. 28, 2007

Michelle Perry, the reigning world champion in the 100m hurdles, is one step closer to her second consecutive title as she ran away from the competition in the semifinals of that race in Osaka, Japan. Perry posted the fastest time of the day, 12.55, with the nearest competitor running 12.64. She will run for the gold medal on Wednesday.

Perry on her race
'I'm excited for tomorrow. I've just got to stay 100 percent focused, come out here, keep my cool and get out of the blocks. I was really proud of myself because I kept my composure. I didn't get the best start but I didn't panic. That was important. The false start didn't worry me, but it let me know, 'Michelle, don't jump out there because you want to run the finals.' I saw I wasn't in the position I wanted to be, so I ran 8 and 9 and finished the race.'

In the 400m hurdles, Sheena Johnson and Nicole Leach's competition came to a close as both did not advance out of the semifinal round. Johnson was fifth in heat one (54.55) and 10th overall, while Leach was sixth in heat three (56.10) and 19th overall.

Johnson on the race
'The race didn't go as planned. I'm usually able to go in the last 100 meters and tonight it wasn't there. My legs weren't there. I didn't have much energy today. The start was good I thought. I thought I'd bring it home tonight and I didn't.'

Leach on the race
'It wasn't my best race. You had experience out there. This is something that I definitely don't regret. I wish I would have run a lot faster. My legs were a lot more tired than I thought. Even if I ran my PR in that heat, I wouldn't have made it. I wouldn't have been an automatic qualifier. I'm happy to be here. I would have loved to make the final. The plan was to get in that final. It just doesn't always work the way you want it to.'

Jessica Cosby, another former Bruin and current coach on the women's staff, was the highest American finisher in the hammer on Tuesday as she missed the finals by just three spots. Cosby ended up eighth in Group B with a mark of 222-9 and was 15th overall.

Cosby on her competition
'I'm pleased with how I performed today. It was my first world championships and I'm going to take this experience and go back home and prepare and work harder and try to get on that Olympic team, and hopefully the experience I've gained here will help me out next year.'

Perry will run for the gold medal in the 100m hurdles on Wednesday, while Amy Acuff has yet to compete in the high jump. She will jump in the qualifying round on Friday.

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