McLeod, Thompson lead Jamaican charge in Paris

July 01, 2017
Omar McLeod (centre) clears a hurdle on the way to winning the men's 110-metre hurdles gold medal at last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.


PARIS, France:

OLYMPIC champions, Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod will lead 11 Jamaicans into action today when the seventh leg of the Diamond League series continues with the Meeting de Paris at the Stade Charlety in Paris.

Both Thompson and McLeod, who will be competing in the 100 metres and the 110 metres hurdles respectively, are two of the most high profile athletes who will compete on the track today, both ranked number one in the world in their events.

"I am very pleased with my season so far," said Thompson.

"I started very well in Jamaica with a strong race in 400 metres. I got a new PB (personal best). I ran 10.78 at the Shanghai Diamond League, then I have been able to run even faster in Kingston (10.71) " she added.


Surprise myself


The meet record in the event is 10.74 seconds set by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 2015 but Thompson said she isn't targeting this mark.

"I am not focusing on time. I am more focused on myself staying in my own lane and executing well. I try to surprise myself at every race and I cannot say anything about a time before a competition," she said.

The event which will get underway at 1:03 p.m. Jamaica will also feature Jamaican Christania Williams, who is yet to hit top form this season, along with Diamond League leader, Marie-Josee Talou of the Ivory Coast, Murielle Ahoure, and the United States' Morolake Akinosun who finished fourth at their recent National Championships.

Since his arrival in Paris three days ago, there has been lots of buzz surrounding Omar McLeod.

Following his world leading and national record 12.90 seconds in clocked at the Jamaica National Senior Championships last Sunday, expectations are high that the world record of 12.80 is in trouble.


Final set


McLeod should easily remove the meet record 12.88 seconds set by Cuba's Dayron Robles in 2008.

"I am in good shape. That's obvious. I've just gotten a new PB as I am faster than ever. This season I have to confess that WR is on my mind. I hope to be able to beat it before the end of the season but I don't want to target it at each meet," said McLeod.

Seven of the athletes ranked in the top 10 in the world will race today. The preliminaries are set for 12:20 p.m. with the final set for 2:25 p.m.

Jamaicans Ronald Levy and Hansle Parchment and the world number two, Garfield Darien are also in this race.


Jamaicans in action:


- 1:03 p.m. Women's 400m - Shericka Jackson, Novlene Williams-Mills, Stephenie McPherson

- 1:50 p.m. Men's 100m - Julian Forte

- 2:00 p.m. Women's 3000m Steeplechase - Aisha Praught

- 2:52 p.m. Men's 200m- Rasheed Dwyer

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