Cyrena Samba-Mayela wins the 60m hurdles at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22 (© Getty Images)
France’s 21-year-old Cyrena Samba-Mayela, who has got better and better in the course of the women’s 60m hurdles event, came through for a superlative gold in a national record of 7.78 after a performance that was almost faultless at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22.
After looking as dazed as Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji had following her women’s 60m win the evening before, Samba-Mayela experienced an emotional adrenaline rush, celebrating superbly before racing round the track with her national flag like a mad thing.
Devynne Charlton of The Bahamas, fastest qualifier in a national record of 7.81, equalled that to take silver, with bronze going to Gabriele Cunningham of the United States – who had reached the final as a non-automatic qualifier – in 7.87.
Britany Anderson – flying the Jamaican flag following the shock exit of this season’s fastest performer, 2015 world champion Danielle Williams – had qualified in 7.85, the same time as Samba-Mayela.
Anderson suffered similar disappointment to Williams at last summer’s Olympics where, after setting a personal 100m hurdles best of 12.40 she hit a hurdle in the final and finished eighth and last.
There was no calamity for her in this final – only the disappointment of missing a medal by one place after finishing in 7.96, one place ahead of Venezuela’s Yoveinny Mota, fifth in a national record of 8.05.
Zoe Sedney of the Netherlands was sixth in 8.07, with Ireland’s Sarah Lavin, elated to have reached a global final after running a personal best of 7.97, seventh in 8.09.
As her big sister had the previous evening, 19-year-old Ditaji Kambundji found herself in lane eight. But sadly for her there was nothing like a repeat family performance as she crashed into the second hurdle and out of contention, with the solicitous Lavin eventually helping her to her feet.
Mike Rowbottom for World Athletics
|WOMEN'S 60m HURDLES MEDALLISTS
|Cyrena Samba-Mayela 🇫🇷 FRA
|Devynne Charlton 🇧🇸 BAH
|Gabriele Cunningham 🇺🇸 USA