American Devon Allen produced the third quickest 110m hurdles time in history at the New York Grand Prix on Sunday.
Allen won in 12.84 seconds, a time bettered only by Aries Merritt (12.80) and world champion Grant Holloway (12.81), who placed second in 13.06.
Allen, 27, is to pursue an NFL career after earning a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in April.
“I thought I was going to break the world record today so we’ll have to wait for another race,” he said.
A two-time Olympian, Allen hopes to compete at next month’s World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, before linking up with the Eagles.
He caught the NFL team’s attention earlier this year at a ‘pro day’ at the University of Oregon, for whom he played at wide receiver.
The Eagles invited Allen to their training facility and the day after his visit he signed a three-year deal as an undrafted rookie.
Allen, who finished fifth in the 2016 Olympic final and fourth at last year’s Tokyo Games, might not have run at the New York meeting had he not caught Covid-19 in May, which prevented him linking up with the Eagles sooner.
Compatriot Christian Coleman went under 10 seconds for the first time this year as he ran 9.92secs in the men’s 100 metres.
That was enough to beat Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake (9.95), while American Marvin Bracy was third (10.03).
In other events, reigning US 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson had a mixed day. Competing in a striking fishnet bodysuit, the flamboyant sprinter was beaten in her preferred 100m event, finishing second behind Aleia Hobbs.
Hobbs took the tape in 10.83secs, with Richardson just behind in 10.85. Olympic finalist Teahna Daniels was third in 10.99.
However, Richardson bounced back later to win the 200m in 22.38secs ahead of Tamara Clark (22.62) and the Bahamas’ Tynia Gaither (22.66). -BBC