Queen of the hurdles: “doing just one event is not who I am”


Queen Harrison is one of the best all-round hurdlers on the planet, boasting a 100mh personal best of 12.61 and 400mh best of 54.55. SPIKES finds out how on earth she does both.

Which event do you prefer, the 100m or 400m hurdles?

"I love them equally. I don’t prefer one event over the other. However, if you ask me training-wise, I don’t enjoy training for the 400m hurdles. Maybe, over time I’ll pick one…"

Are you surprised so few athletes do both events?

"I am surprised and I’m not surprised, because it is very difficult to do both at an elite level. I think athletes are so discouraged from trying both, so many athletes don’t even see it as an option. Even coming out of college coaches wanted me to focus on one event or the other. It was like ‘Queen: you are a 100m or 400m hurdler.’ But to do one event is not who I am."

How do you juggle the training demands of both?

"There is almost not enough time in the day but I have to find the time to address both. This is because the training demands for the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles are totally different. Once I’ve finished concentrating on one event, I change my line of focus. It is so difficult to train at an elite level and switch back and forth."

Does training for both events add an extra level of stimulation?

"That’s a huge part of it. By hopping between two events it gives me less chances to get bored. And if things don’t work out in one event, I always have a back up plan." 

Would the 200m hurdles be your perfect event?

"I used to think about the 200m hurdles. I would be the queen."