August 29, 2011 / 3:55 PM / 8 years ago

Controversial gold is "bittersweet" for Richardson

DAEGU, South Korea (Reuters) - Jason Richardson admitted to a “bittersweet” feeling after claiming the 110 meters hurdles world championship gold medal when Cuban Dayron Robles was disqualified on Monday.

Jason Richardson of the U.S. (L), Dayron Robles of Cuba (C) and Liu Xiang of China holds their national flags after the men's 110 metres hurdles final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu August 29, 2011. Robles was later stripped of his gold medal pending an inquiry after barging past Liu to win the 110 metres hurdles final at the world championships on Monday. Richardson was installed as world champion with the Chinese handed silver pending the investigation into the race.REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Richardson was the beneficiary when Olympic champion Robles was disqualified for obstructing Liu Xiang in the final, effectively taking the Chinese out of the race for the line.

So instead of Robles or Liu, the two fastest high hurdlers of all time, taking home the title it was the dreadlocked 25-year-old Californian who has never run under 13 seconds.

“The reaction is bittersweet, you never want to see someone as talented as Robles disqualified but there are rules we have to abide by,” he said.

“I am disappointed to have won the gold medal on a technicality.”

Richardson has been in great form this year, beating his better known compatriot David Oliver and finally fulfilling the promise he showed when he won gold in the 110m and 400m hurdles at the world junior championships in 2003.

“With faith anything is possible,” he said. “All you need to do is listen to be called. I had a difficult college experience, but now I got some bumps out, got much more technical help.

“My coach John Smith is awesome, always willing to learn. Everyday we are learning something with him and making changes. We can only improve in this way.”

Having claimed the world title, Richardson said his next goal was to improve his best time of 13.08 seconds in his quest to better the world record of 12.87.

“I truly believe I can break Robles’s record,” he said.

Editing by Ed Osmond

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