USA Hurdler Devon Allen Disqualified for Reacting Too Fast, Looks Onward to NFL Season with Philadelphia Eagles

by Bryan Fyalkowski

After running the third-fastest 110-meter hurdle time in history on June 12, hurdler Devon Allen wanted to win at the World Athletic Championships and then move on to NFL training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Those hopes were dashed on Sunday, as Allen was disqualified in the finals, essentially on a technicality. He did not begin before the gun sounded, but his reaction time of .099 seconds was deemed a “false start” – only one one-thousandth of a second under the .100 threshold.

“Track and field is so difficult because you train the whole year for one competition that lasts 12, 13 seconds and that’s that,” the 27-year-old said after watching the race from the sidelines. “I’ll learn from it and I’ll make sure I just react not as fast next time.”

Allen continued: “When I was flagged, I was very surprised. I know for a fact I didn’t react until I heard the gun. And to be one one-thousandth of a second too quick – I know I’m quick – kind of sucks.”

It is a tough deal for Allen, who actually had a reaction time of .101 in the semifinals. Props to him, because he handled it all with class.

Last month at the USA Track and Field New York City Grand Prix, Allen ran a time of 12.84 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles. It was the third-fastest time in history, only 0.04 seconds behind the world record of 12.80.

Leading into the WAC finals, Allen ran a 13.09 in the semifinals, which was the fourth-best time. After his disqualification, Americans Grant Holloway (13.03) and Try Cunningham (13.08) finished with the gold and silver medals. Meanwhile, Spaniard Asier Martinez ran a 13.17 to claim the bronze medal.

Devon Allen Will Now Pivot to Pro Football Career

What added to the crappiness of the situation was that the WAC took place in Eugene, Oregon, where Devon Allen went to college. For the Ducks in the mid-2010’s, he was a three-time NCAA national champion in the 110-meter hurdles. He also competed on the football team, posting 54 receptions for 919 yards and eight touchdowns in 29 games.

Although he had not played football since 2016, Allen participated in Oregon’s Pro Day on April 1 and caught the eye of the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia signed Allen to a three-year contract a week later.

“I’m going to put football on the back burner for now,” Allen said at the time of the signing. “I wanted to come to pro day and announce that I’m taking this seriously. The goal is to get ready for Worlds, compete at Worlds, win, break the world record, and then July 18th when Worlds is done, go to camp the next week.”

Eagles’ training camp starts next week on July 26. Allen will be there, undoubtedly with a huge chip on his shoulder.