Australian track glamor girl Michelle Jenneke breaks her silence on the high-tech shoe controversy that accused track and field legend Michael Johnson of ‘black racism’
- Jenneke and many hurdlers set personal records at the World Cup
- Winner of the 100m hurdles shattered the world record with high-tech shoes
- Raft of very fast times led Michael Johnson to question their legitimacy
- Olympic legend was branded ‘black supremacist’ and slammed
Hurdler Michelle Jenneke gave her take on the biggest controversy at the recent World Athletics Championships, which raised questions about the legitimacy of her rival’s victory over her high-tech footwear.
The Aussie was stunned when she set a personal best in the 100m hurdles in Oregon last month, and the track and field world was even more shocked when Nigerian Tobi Amusan broke the world record wearing Adidas Adizero Avanti shoes, which are made for extended wear. . -distance runners.
While their use is not illegal, the footwear has come under scrutiny for being designed to boost runners with the use of extremely resilient foam, while several other hurdlers wear them.
Amusan broke the record and 12 of the 24 athletes in the 100m hurdles semifinals at the championships set personal bests, with legendary 200m runner turned commentator Michael Johnson saying the times were wrong.
Jenneke – here performing her famous pre-race dance at last month’s World Athletics Championships – has weighed in on the event’s biggest controversy
The Aussie revived her career with a personal best in Oregon – and 11 of her rivals in the 100m hurdles also improved their fastest times, setting alarm bells ringing for some.
He was accused of being a “black racist” and even grumbled about the stroke he suffered in 2018.
Jenneke said she believes the furore is a beating as she prepares to race in the Commonwealth Games on Friday night.
“I ran a decent PB (personal best) in that race and ran in the same shoes as I have for the past five years,” she said.
“I know I can’t attribute my PB to the shoes because it’s the same shoe, the same shoe model.
The winner of the event, Nigerian Tobi Amusan (pictured hugging Jenneke) broke the world record while wearing Adidas Adizero Avanti shoes, which are designed for long-distance runners and have come under scrutiny for giving competitors an unfair advantage
Track legend turned commentator Michael Johnson (pictured) was called a ‘black supremacist’ for questioning whether the times in the event were legit
“I’ve tried some of the newer spikes they’ve put out, the technology is great, and I’m sure people are faster, but at the same time, if you go back 10, 20 years, look at the shoes people wore, they were very different from what we wore five years ago.
“I don’t think we’re seeing anything that causes such a big change that it should be questioned.”
Jenneke added that she is confident that the athletics governing body is checking the shoes and keeping abreast of the situation.
Her time of 12.66 at the World Cup came after being sidelined for three years with serious back and ankle injuries that could have ended her career.
After becoming world famous for her ‘wobbly Jenneke’ pre-race dance at the 2012 World Junior Championships went viral, she said it was ‘frankly incredible’ to represent her country in Oregon again.
Her return to form has given her a chance to win a medal in Birmingham, where she has said she will be re-rolling the famous dance.