Ali leads U.S. one-two in 100 meters hurdles

Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Women's 100 Metres Hurdles Final - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - October 6, 2019. Nia Ali of the U.S. celebrates after winning gold. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

DOHA (Reuters) - Nia Ali, back in the starting blocks after giving birth to her second child, powered to victory in the world championships 100 meters hurdles on Sunday, leading an American one-two finish.

Ali, who won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics after having her first child, went one better in front of another full-house Khalifa Stadium, blazing across the line in a personal best time of 12.34 seconds.

World record holder Kendra Harrison, winner of 10 consecutive races this season, settled for silver in 12.46 edging out Jamaica’s 2015 world champion Danielle Williams, who was clocked a 12.47.

The U.S. was denied a possible podium sweep when Olympic champion Brianna McNeal was disqualified in the opening heats after a false start.

Ali was not the first mother to win gold at the world championships but she was certainly one of last collecting her medal on the final day of the 10-day meeting.

Jamaican 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and American team mate Allyson Felix in the 4x400m mixed relay had early struck a blow for working mothers adding to their world championship medal hauls.

“Shelly-Ann, Allyson, all the ladies who have come back from child birth are surely an inspiration for me and I am so excited to be able to pull off the world title,” said Ali. “Shelly-Ann, it was so inspirational for me to watch.”

The evergreen Jamaican has been an inspiration for many women claiming her fourth 100m world championship gold medal (more than any other man or woman) to go along with two Olympic gold and perhaps more to come next year at the Tokyo Summer Games.

The 32-year-old now stands alone in terms of multiple world champions in one event, with her four titles one better than Usain Bolt and Americans Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene.

Editing by Christian Radnedge