'Phenomenon' Oliver takes winning streak in his stride

Usain Bolt might have finally suffered that Kryptonite moment in the home straight of the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm last week, crashing to earth in a 100m race for the first time in two years, but there is another Superman of the track constructing a force-field of invincibility around him.

While the Lightning Bolt undergoes running repairs, David Oliver is on such a prolonged winning streak he has lost count of his tally of 110m hurdles victories.

"Is it 13 races that [you have] won now?" the big, square-shouldered American was asked ahead of his high hurdles appointment at Crystal Palace this afternoon, on the second day of the Aviva London Grand Prix. "I don't really know the math – just all of them," Oliver replied. "I don't really know what the number is. You've just got to keep on, keep on winning. I like doing victory laps, man. That's a pretty cool thing."

It is that – and Oliver is one pretty cool dude, blessed with the sangfroid of a Bolt but with lightning-fast quick-fire patter. And with a boat-load of talent, too.

At the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 3 July, the 28-year-old Floridian broke Roger Kingdom's 11-year-old American (and former world) record figures of 12.92 sec, clocking 12.90. At the Diamond League meeting in Paris a month ago, he improved it to 12.89. Only two men have ever run faster: Dayron Robles of Cuba (12.87) and China Liu Xiang (12.88).

So, might we see a world record when Oliver lines up against Andy Turner, the newly crowned European champion, and William Sharman, the other great British high hurdler of recent times, at Crystal Palace this afternoon? "I don't really know about that," Oliver replied. "Nobody's ever run 12 seconds in the UK. I'm just going to go out there and try to get the win. I've just got to try to whup 10 hurdles." And whup the opposition, too.

Not that the man from Orlando has been doing that from the start of his track and field career. He began as a long jumper and triple jumper in high school but "sucked", as he puts it. "My team-mate called me DJ Scratch because I would scratch all my jumps," Oliver recalled. "Then I did the hurdles and started winning. They started calling me The Phenom."

A phenomenon and a Gooner. The Arsenal tracksuit he was proudly wearing was a bit of a clue. "Yeah man, I'm a Gunners fan," he said. "I like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie. I've got a shirt autographed by Abou Diaby. I watch Arsenal on TV.

"I like the colours. I like the name. On the Fifa video game, I play with Arsenal. I've never been to the Emirates stadium but I'm going up to Liverpool on Sunday. I'm going up to Anfield to the game, see the red army play and, hopefully, get the win, 2-0.

"I can't wait. Honestly, I'm kind of looking forward more to that than to racing on Saturday."

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution