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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

the great spirited hurdler Aries Merritt ~ wishing him good recovery ##

The IAAF World Championships at Beijing is hotting  up.  The World Record holder is in the fray, topping the heats with a timing of 13.08 which is above his own record ~ and you see here a beautiful photofinish snap courtesy official web of the tournament : www.

The 110-meter hurdles, is a hurdling track and field event for men. It is included in the athletics programme at the Summer Olympic Games. The female counterpart is the 100 metres hurdles. As part of a racing event, ten hurdles of 1.067 metres (3.5 ft or 42 inches) in height are evenly spaced along a straight course of 110 metres. They are positioned so that they will fall over if bumped into by the runner. Fallen hurdles do not carry a fixed time penalty for the runners, but they have a significant pull-over weight which slows down the run. Like the 100 metres sprint, the 110 metres hurdles begins in the starting blocks.

The Olympic Games have included the 110 metre hurdles in their program since 1896. The equivalent hurdles race for women was run over a course of 80 metres from 1932 to 1968. Starting with the 1972 Summer Olympics, the women's race was set at 100 metres. The fastest 110 metre hurdlers run the distance in around 13 seconds. Aries Merritt of the United States holds the current world record of 12.80 seconds, set at the Memorial Van Damme meet on in Sept.  2012 in Belgium.

When he ran his final race of the year, Merritt owned an Olympic gold medal, World Indoor title and the world 110m hurdles record (12.80), shattering Dayron Robles’ previous WR of 12.87 set in 2008. Before 2012 Merritt’s personal best was 13.09 (2007). First determined he would be a hurdler when his high school coach witnessed him jumping a fence, Merritt credits much of his recent success to altering his approach to the first hurdler from eight to seven steps.

In 2012 he ran the seven fastest times in the world and his eight sub-13-second races stands as the most ever run in a single season. After an outstanding career at the University of Tennessee, Merritt decided to forgo his senior season to pursue a professional career in track and field. Merritt left Tennessee with 14 total school, meet or facility records, including every high hurdles school record, in his possession.

His achievement is extraordinary, for he is no ordinary athlete. Merritt ran 13.25 seconds to win his heat on Wednesday and qualify for Thursday's semi-finals in Beijing and has now qualified for the finals.  The Chicago-born athlete said he "felt like a weight was lifted" after being able to share his plight with others.

~ American hurdler Aries Merritt will have a kidney transplant following the World Championships. The champion who is only 30, has a rare genetic disorder and will receive a kidney from his sister on 1st September."After the Worlds, I'll focus on it," he added. "The more I train the worse my kidneys get and that's why I am getting a transplant."

Merritt was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 and was told his athletics career might be over."When they told me I'd never run again, my whole world ended in my mind," he said."That I am here again running shows me that I'm a fighter and that I can overcome anything if I stay with a positive mind. He added that  it has been "difficult" competing with his health issues."It hurts so much on the inside to know you are the best but you're struggling with this illness and you are just trying to fight through.

Yet his love for running, competing and seeing running as life made it to participate in this Championship.  After a transplant, patients like Merritt begin treatment with immunosuppressants to prevent their bodies rejecting the new kidney.If patients have an organ from a living donor, in the way Merrit is receiving one from his sister, it will usually begin working immediately.However, the new kidney can sometimes take up to six weeks to start working properly and patients need dialysis during this time.  Most people can leave hospital after about seven to 10 days and should be able to do normal activities within a few months.

Merritt had a brilliant 2012, winning gold at the London Olympics and shattering the world record with a time of 12.80 seconds at the Brussels Diamond League meeting the following month.It was after he finished sixth at the 2013 world championships that his illness was diagnosed. His positive outreach is really  amazing.

He says – ‘ I love running, I love competing, this is my life and here I am.'

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Aug 2015.

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