Grant Holloway wins world championship in 110 hurdles

Grant Holloway, of the United States, celebrates Wednesday after winning the men's 110 meter hurdle finals at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, by doing the Gator Chomp. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

DOHA, Qatar — Grant Holloway of the United States won the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the IAAF World Championships after defending champ Omar McLeod of Jamaica fell Wednesday.

Holloway, a former University of Florida standout, slowed toward the end but held on to win in 13.10 seconds, 0.05 faster than 2015 champion Sergey Shubenkov, a Russian competing as a neutral athlete. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde was third for France in 13.18.

After crossing the finish line, Holloway kept running around the turn in celebration before collapsing onto the back straight. He followed up with the “Gator Chomp” gesture.

Holloway, who turns 22 years old in November, is the first American 110 hurdler to win a global championship since David Oliver won gold at the 2013 World Championships. He also joins American Fred Kelly (20 years old, 1912 Olympics), China’s Xiang Liu (21, 2004 Olympics), Barbados’ Ryan Brathwaite (21, 2009 Worlds), Cuba’s Dayron Robles (21, 2008 Olympics), and American Roger Kingdom (21, 1984 Olympics) as the only other men in history to win a 110 hurdles global title prior to turning 22 years old.

Holloway led right from the gun, but McLeod, the defending World Championships and Olympic gold medalist, pressed at hurdle nine to challenge him. McLeod clipped the hurdle and tumbled to the ground, leaving no one within striking distance of Holloway as he came off the 10th and final hurdle.

Holloway entered this year’s World Championships with the world-leading time (12.98 seconds), which he set as he became the first man in collegiate history to sweep the indoor and outdoor high hurdles NCAA titles three years in a row. That winning time at the NCAA Outdoor Championships this past June also broke Renaldo Nehemiah’s 40-year-old collegiate record.