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Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Devon Allen won the 110-meter hurdles at the USATF NYC Grand Prix on Sunday, finishing with a time of 12.84 seconds – the third fastest time in history.
He was just four hundredths of a second off the world record (12.80) set by Aries Merritt in 2012 at a Diamond League event in Brussels, Belgium.
“I thought I could break the record today,” Allen told reporters after the race, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Clean up a few things, and four hundredths of a second is four thousandths of a second per obstacle, which is so small. I’ll have to wait for another race.”
Grant Holloway, the silver medalist in the 110-meter hurdles at the Olympics in Tokyo, finished second on Sunday after Allen with a time of 13.06. Holloway has the second-fastest time ever at 12.81, which he ran in a semifinal heat at the Olympic athletics trials last year.
Allen finished as number four last year (13.21) and fifth in 2016 (13.31) in the 110-meter hurdles at the last two Olympics.
The 27-year-old Allen, a former wideout from Oregon, signed a three-year contract with the Eagles in April. He has not played football since 2016, when he was with the Ducks. Allen caught the scouts’ attention at Oregon’s pro day in April when he ran an unofficial 4.35-second 40-yard run.
He told reporters at Oregon’s pro day that he planned to compete at the U.S. Open, which will be held later this month, and the World Athletics Championships in July, before turning his attention to football.
ESPN’s Tim McManus contributed to this report.