BRUSSELS - In the final Diamond League meet of the season, former Tennessee Vol standout Aries Merritt set a world record of 12.80 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles Friday.
The meet, held at the Van Damme Memorial Merritt shot out of the blocks, didn't touch any of the hurdles and lunged at the line with both arms flung backward to slice 0.07 seconds off the old mark set by Cuba's Dayron Robles four years ago.
The American already had the six top times of the season and had come within 0.05 seconds of Robles' mark.
"It was almost perfect," Merritt said. "I knew the track was going to be scorching. I knew one day, I didn't know when, today happened to be that day."
Teammate Jason Richardson took second place, way behind in a time of 13.05.
Earlier this season, in his first Olympic Games, Merritt jumped out to an early lead in the 110-meter hurdles final and never looked back as the U.S. Track & Field team member captured the Olympic gold medal in convincing fashion at Olympic Stadium in London.
Merritt, who won both his qualifying and semifinal heats, improved his then-personal-best mark to 12.92 and finished steps in front of U.S. teammate Jason Richardson (13.04). His mark of 12.92 is the fastest in the world in 2012 and the second fastest time in Olympic history.