McLeod gives Jamaica morale boost with hurdles gold

August 08, 2017
Omar McLeod celebrates winning the men's 110m hurdles title in London yesterday. Ricardo Makyn

LONDON, England:

Having conquered the sprint hurdling world, freshly minted Omar McLeod will be turning his attention elsewhere and he hopes it will start with a leg on Jamaica's 4x100m relay team at the IAAF World Championships in London.

McLeod, the reigning Olympic champion showed his power and poise, to top the podium in 13.04 seconds, beating Russia's Sergey Shubenkov, 13.14, who is one of several athletes competing as neutral here and Hungary's Balazs Baji, 13.28 to the finish line. McLeod's teammate Hansle Parchment was eighth in 13.37.

With his world title joining the Olympic and World Indoor title he won in 2016, McLeod, feels it's time to give himself another challenge and informed that he will be focusing on the 100m and 200m next season.

"Why settle, I want to be historic. I am not just about hurdling. World indoor, Olympic, world champion; I have done it all for hurdling, so I just have to break that world record now and just experiment a little more in other events," McLeod declared.

First, he wants to help Jamaica to another gold medal in the 4x100m relay on Saturday.

"I have that in mind so hopefully I will get a chance to go out there and help Jamaica to another gold medal," McLeod said last night inside the London Stadium. "If I don't run it then that's fine but I really wanted to come out here and do my job first."


A little rougher


McLeod's gold joins Usain Bolt's 100m bronze medal won on Saturday with two more Jamaicans - Nathon Allen and Demish Gaye, looking to step on the podium for tonight's 400m final set for 9:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m Jamaica time).

Also yesterday, Shaneika Ricketts finished eighth in her first senior international triple jump final with a best of 14.13m, with Kimberly Williams finding things a little rougher with an uncharacteristic 10th place 14.01m placing.

The event was won by Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, 14.91m ahead of Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia), 14.89m and Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova, 14.77m.

Three of the four Jamaicans in the women's 400m are through to the final.

Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 50.56, was second in her semi, while Novlene Williams-Mills, 50.67, and Shericka Jackson, 50.70; survived a nervous wait after finishing third and fourth respectively in their semi-final and out of the automatic spots before advancing as the fastest 'losers'. Chrisann Gordon missed out after running third in her semi-final in 50.87.

Kemar Mowatt, 48.66 is the lone qualifier to the men's 400m hurdles final after his fourth place finish in his semi-final. Jaheel Hyde was third in his semi-final in a time of 49.75 and like Ricardo Cunningham, who was sixth in his semi in 50.54, will not feature in the medal race.

Earlier in the session, Yohan Blake clocked 20.39 to win his 200m heat, while Rasheed Dwyer also moved on to the semi-finals with a 20.49 third place finish in his heat. Warren Weir failed to advance after his fourth place 20.60 seconds run.

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