OSAKA, Japan (AFP) — Evergreen American Michelle Perry successfully defended her 100 metres hurdles world title here on Wednesday, rating it one of the most difficult races of her career.
Perry, a converted heptathlete, endured a nervous wait before the electronic scoreboard flashed up her time of 12.46 seconds to confirm she had won back-to-back titles.
Canada's Perdita Felicien, the 2003 champion, took silver in 12.49 with Delloreen Ennis-London of Jamaica, a silver medallist at the last worlds two years ago, third in 12.50.
"It was an extremely difficult race, I rate it as one of the top three most difficult ones in my career," said Perry.
"I kept talking to myself that I can win this race and defend my title and stayed calm.
"It was a close call. We waited for couple of minutes, I did not know who won. I was thinking am I second or third. Now I want to enjoy it."
It was one of the most open fields in recent times, but also one of the deepest. All the women qualified for the final within 0.13 of a second of each other -- the blink of an eye.
Perry, 28, was first out of the blocks and was always in charge although Ennis-London seemed to think she had won, throwing her hands in the air after she crossed the line in celebration.
"Actually I came here to win. As we were crossing the line I was thinking that I am the winner. But also bronze is great. I cannot ask for more," said Ennis-London.
Perry was world number one in 2006 and almost untouchable but her rivals have closed the gap this year, with fellow American Ginny Powell seen as one of her biggest threats after winning the US championships.
But Powell failed to live up to the hype in finishing a disappointing fifth behind Swedish European champion Susanna Kallur.
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