TOKYO — Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico powered ahead of American Keni Harrison in the women’s 100-meter hurdles Monday, springing an upset and keeping the United States out of the win column at the Olympic track meet for yet another session.
Camacho-Quinn finished in 12.37 seconds for a .15 second win — a blowout in such a short race — over the world-record holder, Harrison. Jamaica’s Megan Tapper finished third.
Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that competes under its own flag at the Olympics, has one more track gold medal than the deepest team at the Games as the meet approaches its halfway point.
Camacho-Quinn’s best time coming into the Olympics was 12.38. She ran a 12.26 in the semifinals that ranks fourth on the all-time list.
Harrison is first on that all-time list. Her world record is 12.2.
The buildup to that mark in 2016 played out awkwardly. She finished fourth at Olympic trials and was denied the trip to Rio de Janeiro. A few weeks later, she traveled to London and set the world record, then returned home to watch the Americans sweep the podium.
Given that, Harrison said the silver felt like a win.
“To miss out in Rio and then come to my first Olympics and get a silver medal — of course, everyone wants the gold, but I got myself back out here on this world stage and I’m getting better and better,” she said.
None of the Americans from the 2016 sweep, Brianna Rollins-McNeal, Nia Ali or Kristi Castlin, were in Tokyo, but this felt like an event for the U.S. to finally break its string of no gold medals on the track in Japan.
They had won the three of the last four women’s 100-meter hurdles at the Games, including the 2008 shocker by Dawn Harper after all the build-up had been pointed toward Lolo Jones.
That spoke to the depth of American hurdles.
Turns out, Puerto Rico is tapping into that talent, as well. Camacho-Jones, whose brother, Robert, plays in the NFL, was born in South Carolina and went to college at Kentucky. She was eligible to run for Puerto Rico because that’s where her mom is from.
Harrison also went to Kentucky, and though they didn’t overlap there, they have trained together in the past.
“Today felt like old times. Like we were back training again,” Harrison said. “I knew she was going to bring her `A’ game. I had to bring mine.”
She did, but it still looks like the team that opens every Olympics with grand hopes might need to reset expectations.
Also on Monday morning, Ju’Vaughn Harrison finished fifth in the long jump only hours after leaving the track Sunday night with a seventh-place finish in high jump. The long jump gold went to Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece.
Earlier in the week, the U.S. got shut out of the women’s 100 and took silver (Fred Kerley) in the men’s 100 – a final that Trayvon Bromell didn’t even qualify for after coming in favored for the gold.
The U.S. had no clear favorites in the upcoming night session where medals will go out in the men’s steeplechase and the women’s discus and 5,000 meters.
That 5,000-meter race features Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands. Hassan ran in a 1,500-meter heat in the morning session and fell. She scooped herself back up to not only finish the race, but to win it outright.