"I'm having fun again," says Omar McLeod after world-leading 13.01 in Florence

By June 10, 2021

Omar McLeod said he is having fun again as he once more signalled his intent to successfully defend his Olympic title with a world-leading 13.01, to win the 110-metres hurdles at the Diamond League meeting in Florence, Italy.

The 2016 Olympic champion was running his fastest time since 2019 that equalled Allen Johnson’s meet record set back in 1999.

“It feels good to be winning again. I am having fun again,” said a pleased McLeod afterwards.

“It was a really good race. I put together a technically sound race. I did not hit a hurdle. The weather is a bit shaky but we have to put up with this.

“The time is close enough to 13 seconds and I will get under 13 seconds when the time is right. Now I had two solid races back to back and I am getting better with every race. It is good to get opportunities to race again.”

Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi ran 13.25 for second place while Wilhem Belocian clocked 13.31, a season’s best for the Frenchman, who was third.

Shane Brathwaite of Barbados was fifth in 13.46.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn was equally impressive in winning the women’s sprint hurdles event in meet record 12.38, the second-fastest time in the world this year behind her own 12.32. She broke Russia’s Vera Komisova’s record of 12.39 that had stood since 1980.

“Actually, I did much better than I thought I would. I was really nervous at the start, so all I could think when I was in the blocks was to have a good start, push really hard, and be good to go,” said Camacho-Quinn, who has plans to go even faster as the Olympics draw nearer.

“Of course, I want to run faster, but I just take it as it comes - I've been very consistent with my races, so I'm really excited, and not rushing at all. I'm looking forward to the Olympics this year - it will be like redemption from my fall in 2016 - I'm really excited, training really hard, work really hard, but really looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas was the runner-up in 12.80. Elvira Herman of Belarus ran a season-best 12.85 for third while Jamaica’s Megan Tapper was fourth in 12.94.

Dina Asher-Smith, the reigning world and European champion destroyed a talented field to win the 200m in 22.06, the second-fastest time in the world this year.

It was also a meet record for the Briton, erasing Marion Jones’ 22.19 set in 1999, and who said afterwards that the victory was an essential one.

“It was really important to do a good race here today. Obviously, it's been really hard over the past year and a bit because of the pandemic - so I'm really proud to be able to put that kind of time, and I definitely have more in me,” she said.

Asher-Smith won handsomely over the Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee Ta Lou, who stumbled at the start but recovered to run a season-best 22.58 for second place.

“I am very satisfied with the time because I nearly fell at the start. Then I really had to get out of the curve quick and fast. I have not run as fast as 22.58 seconds since 2017. Now I know that all the work I put in pays off and is worth it. The shape is there. And it keeps getting better and better. Now I will go back home to my country and train. And in July I will come back to Europe for some meetings,” she said.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji ran a season-best 22.60 for third.

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Alfred promises more to come from “small but mighty” St. Lucia Alfred promises more to come from “small but mighty” St. Lucia

    2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Julien Alfred made history despite a second-placed finish in the 200m at the London Diamond League on Saturday.

    She established a new personal best and St. Lucian national record 21.86 in finishing second behind American Gabby Thomas who ran a meet record 21.82 to win.

    After narrowly missing out on medals in both the 100m and 200m at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, the 23-year-old looks set to leave Paris with at least one medal based on her excellent form this season.

    In an interview with Trackstaa after her race in London, Alfred spoke about what it means to represent her country on the world stage.

    “I feel honoured to be an ambassador for my tiny island every day I step on the track,” Alfred said.

    “We’re small but we’re mighty and we have amazing talent in St. Lucia just waiting to come out,” added the former University of Texas standout.

    The 2023 Bowerman Award winner went undefeated indoors at the beginning of the year, culminating in her first World Indoor Championship 60m title in Glasgow in March, before switching her focus outdoors in the build up to the Olympics.

    In four 100m races this season, Alfred has produced times of 11.15 at the Texas Invitational on April 27, 10.93 at the Prefontaine Classic on May 25, a personal best 10.78 at the Racers Grand Prix on June 1 and 10.85 at the Monaco Diamond League on July 12, the last two races resulting in wins.

    In her two 200m races before Saturday, she ran 22.58 at the Mt. Sac Relays on April 20 and 22.16 at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial on July 9.

    Alfred, who currently lives and trains in Texas, plans to return home to St. Lucia at the end of her season.

    “Oh Definitely. I haven’t been home to actually relax. It’s always been a quick in and out, especially this year in April, so I’ll get a chance to just go home, get back to my roots and go have fun and be with my people. That’s all I want,” she said.

    “I miss the food, the people and the environment. Just being around family, being on the beach. It’s an absolutely amazing place,” she added.

     

  • Jamaica’s Powell, T&T’s Bertrand among podium finishers at Holloway Pro Classic in Gainesville Jamaica’s Powell, T&T’s Bertrand among podium finishers at Holloway Pro Classic in Gainesville

    Jamaica’s Jevaughn Powell and Trinidad & Tobago’s Leah Bertrand were among the Caribbean podium finishers at Friday’s Holloway Pro Classic in Gainesville, Florida.

    Powell, who took third in the 400m at both the NCAA Championships and Jamaican National Championships in June, completed his final preparation for Paris with a 20.21 clocking for second in the 200m on Friday.

    American Erriyon Knighton ran 19.92 to win while another American, Robert Gregory, ran 20.33 in third.

    Bertrand, fresh off her second national 100m title in June, ran 11.18 for third behind American Candice Hill and Nigerian Favour Ofili. Hill and Ofili both ran the same time of 11.07.

    The upcoming Olympic Games in Paris will be the first for the 21-year-old Ohio State Junior.

    Bertrand's countrywoman, Tyra Gittens, was second in the long jump with a best mark of 6.37m in the sixth and final round. The event was won by American Tionna Tobias with a massive personal best of 6.94m while countrywoman Jasmine Todd was third with 6.17m.

    Bahamian Charisma Taylor, who will be competing in the 100m hurdles in Paris, finished third in the triple jump on Friday with 13.63m.

    American’s Kenturah Orji and Jasmine Moore finished first and second with 14.08m and 14.06m, respectively.

    Jamaica’s Skyler Franklin ran 51.01 for third in the women’s 400m behind Americans Aaliyah Butler (50.14) and Bailey Lear (50.51).

  • Hudson-Smith shines with British record 43.74 at London Diamond League; T&T’s Richards, St. Lucia’s Alfred establish new personal bests Hudson-Smith shines with British record 43.74 at London Diamond League; T&T’s Richards, St. Lucia’s Alfred establish new personal bests

    British World Championship silver medallist signaled his intent to go one better at the Paris Olympics with a brilliant performance to win the 400m at the London Diamond League on Saturday.

    In his home stadium, Hudson-Smith, whose mother hails from Hanover in Jamaica, covered the field in the first 300m before showcasing his endurance and strength in the last 100m on his way to a new personal best, national record and world leading 43.74, his first time under 44 seconds.

    American Vernon Norwood ran a personal best 44.10 in second while Trinidadian Jereem Richards scaled to new heights in the event with a personal best of his own, 44.18, in third.

    Signaling the speed on display in the race, Britain’s Charlie Dobson ran a personal best 44.23 in fourth while Olympic and World champion Kirani James’ season’s best 44.38 was only good enough for fifth.

    The women’s 200m saw St. Lucian Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist Julien Alfred produce a personal best and national record 21.86 for second.

    American Olympic bronze medallist Gabby Thomas won in a meet record 21.82 while British 2019 World Champion Dina Asher-Smith was third in a season’s best 22.07.

    The women’s 800m saw multiple time World Championship and Olympic finalist Natoya Goule-Toppin run a season’s best 1:56.83 for fourth.

    Great Britain swept the top three spots led by World Championship silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson’s personal best, national record and world leading 1:54.61. Jemma Reekie was second in a personal best 1:55.61 while Georgia Bell also ran a personal best 1:56.28 in third.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.