"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.

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