U.S. athlete Aries Merritt, ranked No. 1 in the world this year, won the gold in the men's 110-meter hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics as Cuban defending champion Dayron Robles was unable to finish due to injury.

Merritt, who this season ran the event in 12.93 seconds, improved his time by 0.01 second to decisively win the gold and return leadership in the event to his country, something that had not occurred since Allen Johnson accomplished the same feat at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Fellow countryman Jason Richardson, the 2011 world champion, took the silver with a time of 13.04 seconds and Jamaica's Hansle Parchment won the bronze by setting a new national record of 13.12 seconds.

Robles, the defender of the title obtained in Beijing four years ago and the fastest in the world for the event with a time of 12.87 seconds, could not retain the crown due to an injury in his right thigh that forced him to stop after the fifth hurdle.

Robles's countryman Orlando Ortega, meanwhile, who performed brilliantly during the series and the semifinals, ended up in sixth place with a time of 13.43 seconds. EFE