Devon Allen's hurdles dream ends in nightmarish fashion


Eagles wide receiver Devon Allen’s homecoming trip to the World Championships in Eugene ended in heartbreak when he was called for a false-start in the 110-meter hurdles final Saturday night at Hayward Field and disqualified from the race.

The World Athletics rule is that if a runner’s reaction time to the gun is faster than 1-1,000th of a second, he’s out of the race. 

Allen’s start was measured at 0.099, so he was DQ'd by the smallest possible imperceptible margin. Even though he did not move before the gun.

That’s the rule, there’s no appeal, and after milling around the starting line for 10 minutes trying to convince meet officials to let him into the race, Allen finally left the track as his hometown crowd booed its disapproval.

Americans Grant Holloway and Trey Cunningham finished first and second, Holloway in 13.03 and Cunningham in 13.08.

With Allen in the race, a U.S. sweep was a virtual lock.

Allen qualified for the final by running 13.09 in the third of three semifinal races two hours before the final. That's his 6th-fastest time ever and is tied for 5th-fastest time ever run in a World Championships semifinal.

The top two finishers in each semi plus the next two-fastest runners advanced to the eight-man final.

 Allen placed second in his semifinal, behind only Olympic champion Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, who was forced to scratch from the final when he suffered a hamstring injury just minutes before the race.

The 13.09 matched Allen's fastest time since his breakthrough 12.84 in New York in June, the No. 3 time in world history and No. 1 in the world this year. The third semi was assisted by a tailwind of 2.5 meters per second, so marks made in that race are not considered for all-time lists. Any race assisted by a tailwind over 2.0 meters per second is considered wind-aided.

Allen has now competed in four international championship meets without reaching the podium. He was 5th in the 2016 Olympic in Rio de Janeiro in 13.31, 7th in the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in 13.70 and 4th in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo in 13.14.

Allen will report to Eagles training camp at the NovaCare Complex next week and begin his bid to make the team as a wide receiver and returner. He last played football in 2016 for Oregon.

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