'No pressure at all'
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
He comes into the Olympics, as the favourite for the 110m hurdles gold medal, but Jamaican standout Omar McLeod says he is not feeling any pressure and has already moved past his two mishaps in the event this year.
Except for a fall at the Monaco Diamond League meet and a disqualification in his very next appearance, McLeod has enjoyed a flawless season with the Jamaican being the only hurdler below 13 seconds so far, and the man responsible for five of the seven fastest times this season.
"It's an honour and a huge blessing but there is no pressure at all. It's just a matter of me staying focused and doing what I do while having fun," McLeod said.
The hurdler survived a wet night inside the Olympic Stadium to win his heat in 13.27, the fastest among qualifiers to the semi-finals, which take place today at 6:40 p.m. (Jamaica time) with the final set for two hours later.
"It was a good run, obviously the weather wasn't as conducive for athletes to compete in, but I tried my best to stay focused and stay dialled in and not to overdo it, but run a clean race and book my spot to the semis," McLeod noted.
McLeod will be joined in the semis by other Jamaicans Andrew Riley and Deuce Carter, who like McLeod competed during a downpour.
Carter was originally disqualified for what was deemed a deliberate knocking over of an hurdle, but he returned to win a re-run, involving the four non-qualifiers of the two heats affected by rain, in a time of 13.51 to book his lane in the next round.
- Andre Lowe