Friday, August 19, 2022

Devon Allen focuses on Eagles after world track disqualification: Goal is to help Philly ‘win a Super Bowl’

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Devon Allen achieved a dream in reaching the 110-meter hurdles final at the world championships. Unfortunately his dream turned into a nightmare. 

Allen didn’t get to run his race after getting disqualified at the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday night. At the start of the race, Allen was disqualified for a false start by 1/1000th of a second and was unable to participate in the race — denying him an opportunity at a medal. 

A computer determined Allen had a false start in the event, which caused Allen to plead his case. His reaction time was 1/1000th of a second faster than the threshold, which was heartbreaking for Allen. 

Despite his success on the track this summer, Allen is making the Eagles his No. 1 priority as he’ll report to training camp next week. His focus shifts to football, wanting to achieve the ultimate dream in Philadelphia. 

“I’m hungry for everything I do. My goal is to be the best hurdler ever and I still have a chance to do that, and my goal is to play in the NFL and help the Eagles win a Super Bowl right now,” Allen said after the race Sunday night, via Pro Football Talk. “There’s not really much I can do. It’s just one race, which is frustrating. Track and field is so difficult because you train a whole year for one race. It happens and I’ll learn from it.”

Grant Holloway, Allen’s United States teammate, earned the gold medal with a winning time of 13.03 seconds. Trey Cunningham, also from the United States, took home the silver with a time of 13.08. The United States had the opportunity for a podium sweep with Allen qualifying for the final — joining Holloway and Cunningham — but it was not to be. 

Allen ran a 13.09 in his semifinal heat, finishing second and automatically advancing to the final. He ran his preliminary heat in 13.47, winning that race. Allen ran this event in 12.84 seconds last month — the third-fastest in history. 

Allen signed a three-year contract with the Eagles in April after running a 4.35 40-yard dash at Oregon’s Pro Day. That was enough for the Eagles to give the 27-year-old wide receiver a good look this summer. 

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Why did Allen take so long to give football a shot? He suffered two ACL injuries in his career at Oregon, the first in the left knee at the 2015 College Football Playoff. He returned for his senior season at Oregon and tore the ACL in his right knee in 2016, not having played a football game since (he signed a professional track and field contract in 2016). 

In between the ACL tears, Allen finished fifth at the 2016 Rio Olympics in 110-meter hurdles. He’s a three-time national champion in the 110-meter hurdles (2014, 2016, 2018) and a two-time Olympian in the event. Allen finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles in the 2020 Beijing Olympics last summer. 

Though the hurdles result was disappointing, Allen will still have an opportunity to make his mark with the Eagles in a week. He’ll also have other chances to capture that elusive medal in the 110-meter hurdles over the next few years, with the 2023 World Championships in Hungary and the 2024 Olympics in Paris. 

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