Osaghae Crowned World Champion|
Omo Osaghae was crowned World Champion in the men's 60-meter hurdles Sunday.
March 9, 2014
SOPOT, Poland - Former Red Raider All-American and Lubbock, Texas native Omo Osaghae was crowned World Champion Sunday following a lifetime-best performance in the 60-meter hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Poland.
Competing for Team USA and the only American to reach the finals Sunday, Osaghae finished first overall in the tightly contested race with a blistering and world-leading time of 7.45 seconds. Osaghae crossed the finish line .01 seconds ahead of Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and .02 ahead Garfield Darien, both of France.
"I feel blessed," Osaghae said. "That is the best way to describe it. It's so hard to put into words, but I'm beyond happy that God put his hand on me and allowed for this tremendous opportunity. Bringing this back to Texas Tech and Lubbock means everything to me. I'm so blessed that Lubbock is my hometown and lucky enough to still call it home."
Osaghae is the fourth American to win gold in the 60-meter hurdles in the last six world indoor meets.
"I'm very excited for him," Texas Tech associate head coach Dion Miller - who has trained Osaghae since his sophomore season at Texas Tech in 2007 - said. "I knew he could win it. Before the semifinals we talked about staying focused and running a complete race and he did that. He has been progressing well in training and put together a phenomenal race."
Osaghae and Team USA claimed 12 gold medals over the course of the three-day meet in Sopot.
The three-time All-American and 2009 Big 12 Champion qualified for the finals after finishing first overall in the semifinals earlier Sunday with a personal-best time of 7.49 seconds.
Osaghae finished second in his heat and fifth overall in Friday's preliminaries.
The meet caps off a stellar 2014 indoor season for Osaghae who won his third U.S. title in the last four years in February.
Osaghae's gold medal is the second by a former Red Raider track and field athlete in the last two IAAF World Championships as Gil Roberts anchored the USA 4x400 relay team to a World Championship title at the 2012 meet in Istanbul.
Also on Sunday, former Lady Raider Tori Polk - the only U.S. athlete to advance to Saturday's finals in the women's long jump - finished fifth overall in the competition. The reigning U.S. Champion went 6.61-meters (21-8.25) on her third attempt of the morning.
"Today went well." Polk said after the meet. "Today was a blessing. Every championship thus far, I'm moving up the ladder. I am pleased with today. I would've loved to do better but I can't complain. I'm improving every day and to have a good indoor season, which I haven't done indoors in 6 or 7 years, it meant so much to make this team and have this opportunity."
Polk entered the 2014 IAAF World Championships after going a career-best 6.70 (21-11.75) to win gold at the U.S. Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. in February. She finished runner-up at the 2013 U.S. Outdoor Championships before finishing eighth at the 2013 Outdoor World Championships.