World's best ... McLeod, Thompson make respected top list

December 29, 2017

Jamaica's Omar McLeod and Elaine Thompson both appear in a prominent listing of the world's top 10 athletes, male and female respectively, for 2017.

McLeod, world champion in the 110 metre hurdles, is the ninth ranked man in the eyes of the respected US publication TRACK AND FIELD NEWS, while Thompson, the world's top female sprinter, appears at number 10. In addition, McLeod's national record run of 12.90 seconds was voted among the ten best performances of the year across all events.

Based on voting by a 37 member panel of international experts, the annual TRACK AND FIELD NEWS world rankings gave the top spot to Qatari high jumper Muta Essar Barsham, with American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks second. The South African pair of long jumper Luvo Manyonga and sprinter Wayde van Niekerk, American triple jump king Christian Taylor, hammer thrower Pawel Fajdek of Poland, British long distance maestro Mo Farah and marathoner Eliud Kipchoge are also ahead of McLeod.


On the women's side, Poland's dominating hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk reigned supreme for the second year in a row. Russian high jumper Mariya Lasitskene was voted into the runner-up spot in the ladies top 10.

Thompson, who had the fastest two 100 metre times of the season at 10.71 and 10.78 seconds, is the only woman in the elite group, who did not win her event at the World Championships in London.

American Tori Bowie and Dafne Schippers of Holland, the champions of the 100 and 200 metres respectively in London, do not appear in the top ten.

That list has Wlodarczyk, Lasitskene, Greek pole vaulter Katerini Stefanidi, heptathlon queen Nafi Thiam of Belgium, Kenyan distance powerhouse Helen Obiri, South Africa's 800 metre dominator Caster Semenya, discus ace Sandra Perkovic of Croatia, 1500 metre gem Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, 10,000 metre ruler Almaz Ayanna of Ethiopia and Thompson.

In addition to giving McLeod ninth position on the men's top 10, the TRACK AND FIELD NEWS panel showed high regard for the clocking that the Jamaican used to win his National Championships in June. A monster javelin mark of 94.44 metres by Germany's Johannes Vetter was adjudged to be the performance of the year with McLeod's 12.90 sharing eighth place with a fast marathon - 2 hours 03 minutes and 32 seconds - by Kipchoge and another huge javelin mark - 93.30 metres - with Vetter's compatriot Thomas Roller.

McLeod's run, which paved the way for him to go to London, made him the joint fifth fastest hurdler of all time. He shares that honour with retired America Dominique Arnold.

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