Grant Holloway, who eclipsed the 16-year-old world indoor 60m hurdles record at the Villa de Madrid meeting on Wednesday by clocking 7.29 seconds, says his event is sexier than just a regular fast sprint.
“Hurdlers are sprinters with attitudes,” says the American. “Our event is sexier than just a regular fast sprint because we have barriers in our way.”
The world champion has certainly brought excitement to the sprint hurdles in recent years. His freakish all-round ability combined with his potential to dominate his event has created a buzz around Holloway usually only reserved for athletes who go on to become superstars of the sport.
Holloway possesses the foot speed to become a major contender in the flat sprints. In his first ever 60m competition, for example, he ran 6.51 and then reduced that time a few weeks later to 6.50 to win the 2019 NCAA indoor title. And that came just 40 minutes after winning his third successive NCAA indoor crown in the 60m hurdles, equalling the North American record of 7.35.
Holloway has also clocked 20.66 for 200m (and 20.69 for the distance indoors), and produced several sub-44-second splits in 4x400m relays during his time at the University of Florida.
And then there’s his jumping ability. In 2018, aged 20, he sailed out to a wind-assisted 8.32m in the long jump, backing it up with a wind-legal PB of 8.17m. He also jumped 8.05m indoors as a teenager and cleared 2.16m in the high jump at the age of 16.
But Holloway is sticking with the hurdles. “I just love hurdling,” he says. “I’m a fantastic sprinter, but I just enjoy hurdling more.”