Dethroned 110 metres hurdles World Champion Omar McLeod has revealed that he suffered from a hamstring issue during a calamitous end to his title defense at the Doha World Championships on Wednesday.

In a close race, McLeod trailed eventual winner Grant Holloway of the United States but crashed into the penultimate hurdle before sprawling to the floor.  In the process, the Jamaican also briefly blocked the path of Spain’s Orlando Ortega who looked to also be in medal contention.  The athlete, who had a wobbly year in terms of his preparation for the World Championships, explained that a hamstring issue had impacted his performance.

“I got out hard and came off the first hurdle and my hamstring grabbed, so I didn’t get to be as snappy as I wanted,” McLeod explained.

“It got to a level of comfort where I thought I could pull through and at least get a medal or just still battle, still go to the line but then it grabbed again at the 6th hurdle and that’s when I lost my balance,” he added.

Heading into the championships, McLeod had suffered a tumultuous period where he changed four coaches in the last three years.  The athlete only joined his current coaching team, led by Rayna Reider, 10 weeks ahead of the Championships.  He insisted he was proud of his effort.

“I’m very proud of myself.  I showed up.  I’ve been through a lot this year and made sure I put myself to at least come prepared to defend my title.

“I’m very disheartened for Ortega for what had happened to him.  If I could take that bad I would.”

    

Jamaica World and Olympic champion Omar McLeod was the fastest qualifier headed into the men’s 110m hurdles finals as three other Jamaican athletes crashed out of contention.

Qualifying from Heat 2, McLeod looked in full control despite clipping a few hurdles early on and finished with a time of 13.08.  Fast-closing Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde was second in a season’s best 13.08 with China’s Wenjun Xie third in 13.22.

A duo of Jamaican athletes Orlando Bennett and Ronald Levy of competed in heat1 but finished 7th and 8th respectively. 

The region’s other representative Andrew Riley competed in Heat 3 but never managed to get into the race after finishing fifth in 13.57.  The event was won by Spain’s Orlando Ortega who qualified in 13.16, with Cyprus’ 13.29 with Antonio Alkana of South Africa finishing third in 13.47.  China’s Wenju Xie (13.22) and Devon Allen of the United States (13.36).    

There was a nervous look on Omar McLeod when he lined up in the 110-metre hurdles at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics on Monday and maybe there were even some nerves over the first few hurdles.

Those out of the way, the defending champion literally flew down the straight away to clock a nippy 13.17 seconds.

So quick was McLeod’s heat that the former World number-one pulled two fastest losers from his heat.

Cyprus’ Milan Trajkovic was second in a season’s best 13.37, while South Africa’s Antonio Alkana was third in 13.41 seconds. Fourth was the United States’ Devon Allen (13.46).

Italy’s Hassane Fofana, 13.49, was fifth, while in sixth, Australia’s Nicholas Hough stopped the clock at 13.60. Both were non-automatic qualifiers.

One of the event’s favourites, Sergey Shubenkov, looked in good form, cruising to 13.27 to win his heat ahead of Wenjun Xie of China, 13.38, and Jason Joseph of Switzerland, 13.39. Joseph’s time was a new national record.

Barbados Shane Brathwaite, a former World Champion, is not in the same type of form this season but he is through to the next round after his fourth place finish in 13.51.

Jamaica’s Andrew Riley, 13.67, finished third in his heat to qualify for the semi-final. The heat was won by Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, 13.45, while Grwat Britain’s Andrew Pozzi was second in 13,53, while Colombia’s Yohan Chaverria, 13.76, was fourth.

Last year’s World U20 silver medalist, Jamaica’s Orlando Bennett, was well beaten, finishing fifth in his heat but his 13.50-second clocking meant he was fast enough to finish in one of the non-automatic qualification spots.

Another qualifier from Jamaica, who now have a growing reputation for producing sprint hurdlers, came from Ronald Levy, who finished second in the final heat, running 13.48 to be well beaten by pre-race favourite, Spain’s Orlando Ortega.

2018 World U20 100m champion Briana Williams was selected on a provisional basis to Jamaica’s 55-member team to the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha from September 27-October 6.

Jamaica Olympic and world 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod expressed delight with his conditioning as the clock counts down to the IAAF World Championships, in Doha later this month.

The sprint hurdler clocked a comfortable looking 13.07, well clear of France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who was second in 13.25, to claim top spot at the ISTAF Berlin World Challenge Meeting in Germany on Sunday.  Barbados’ Shane Brathwaite was third in 13.36.

McLeod will have plenty of reason to feel encouraged following a tough start to the season, which was perhaps fueled by somewhat of a ride on a coaching carousel of sorts early on.  The 25-year-old had trained with Eldrick Floreal up until late 2018 but then moved to Gary Evans at Empire Athletics in Florida.  Tony Ross at World Fastest Humans was his hurdles coach. 

Following early struggles, however, the athlete joined Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville.  His performances seem to have since improved as he claimed the top spot in Birmingham two weeks ago, before winning again in Germany.

“Everything was coming together perfectly. I ran so smooth, tight over the hurdles. This was like a final rehearsal for Doha,” McLeod said.

“I did it! Like my coach told me, I just got out and took control. Everything was good – the start, the finish and every hurdle. You could say it was a perfect race,” he added.

Fellow Jamaicans Orlando Bennett, 13.54 and Ronald Levy, 14.24 were 8th and 9th respectively.

 

After only two weeks with Rana Reider’s Tumbleweed Track Club, 2017 World Champion, Omar McLeod is confident he is back on track to defend his world title at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Jamaica world and Olympic champion Omar McLeod believes things are getting back to normal, following yet another chance in training regime.

The 25-year-old had trained with Eldrick Floreal up until late 2018 but then moved to Gary Evans at Empire Athletics in Florida.  Tony Ross at World Fastest Humans was his hurdles coach.  The athlete has since struggled, however.  Before claiming the top spot in Birmingham on Sunday, McLeod won only two hurdles races and has a season-best time of 13.12s set at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China.

The athlete is, however, rumored to have joined the Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month and seems to be in a better frame of mind.  On Sunday, at the Birmingham Diamond League meet, McLeod clocked 13.21, well clear of the United States’ Freddie Crittenden (13.31) and Xie Wenjun (13.43).  Following the win, the athlete admitted, the target was getting in shape for the World Championships.

“It was pretty easy and felt good. It was nice to make up for what happened in London. I'm in a new environment with a new coach and I feel like I'm ready to go again,” McLeod said.


“For Doha, I need to go there in the best possible shape and not been half-bothered about it. Anything can happen and I need to go there as defending champion and be ready to compete,” he added.
“I have the Diamond League finals prior to Doha so I need to be ready for that.”

Sportsmax.TV sources have indicated that 2017 World 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod has joined the Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville, Florida.

Reigning 100m World Champions Omar McLeod believes former world’s fastest man Usain Bolt was well within his rights to defend longtime coach Glen Mills.

The decorated Olympian and sprint icon set off a social media storm in recent weeks when he was highly critical of the work attitude of some of the current crop of sprinters, following criticism of veteran coach Mills.

  In recent weeks, multiple athletes affiliated to the Racers Track Club had written social media pieces critical of the coach and the operation of the now-famous club.  In a terse response, Bolt suggested that the athletes had only themselves to blame for any lack of success, accusing them of not working hard enough.  While admitting that he did not know enough about the issue, McLeod claims to understand the sprinter’s defense of the coach.   

“I don’t know about what happened in-depth, I’ve seen the interview.  I’m really happy he made the decision to speak up for his coach.  It can be a thing when athletes don’t get what they want they try to point fingers and blame other people,” McLeod told Nuffin’ Long Athletics.

 “Nobody knows the extent of what happened, I don’t so I don’t want to speak of it but I just think it was good of him to come out and speak because he and his coach have had a really good career and I guess he is a father figure to Usain Bolt.”

Jamaica Olympic champion Omar McLeod expressed disappointment with a stumbling fifth-place finish at IAAF Diamond League, in Rabat on Sunday.

After getting off to a trademark quick start, it was McLeod who led the race most of the way.  He was, however, always under pressure from Sergey Shubenkov who close quickly as the Jamaican lost his form over the final two barriers.

McLeod tripped on the final barrier and in the process also clearing out the feet of Shubenkov.  The Russian was as a result, however, catapulted clear over the line.  Having lost all momentum, the Jamaican rolled over the line in fifth spot.  Shubenkov stopped the clocked at 13.12, with Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi next over the line in 13.30.  Brazil’s Gabriel Constantino was third in 13.41.  McLeod was recorded with a time of 13.48.

 “I am not really satisfied with finishing fifth as I was aiming to win. The race was very quick and tough. I was running very fast but unfortunately I fell at the finish line,” a dissatisfied McLeod explained.

 

Elaine Thompson won the 200m dash at the two-day 2019 Nanjing World Challenge meeting in China on Tuesday in a season’s best 22.40.

Olympic champion, Jamaica’s Omar McLeod collected a record fourth 110m hurdles victory in what is considered the meeting's signature event. 

After word surfaced earlier this year that Omar McLeod, the 2016 Olympic 110m hurdles champion had parted company with Coach Eldrick Floreal, Sportsmax.tv can now confirm that the Jamaican hurdles star is currently based in Florida training under the guidance of Coach Gary Evans.

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