McLeod a no-show but fireworks expected from stacked 110m hurdles field at Jamaica's national championships

By July 03, 2023

When the athletes for the 110m hurdles line up at Jamaica’s National Athletics Championships this coming weekend, noticeably absent will be the 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod.

McLeod, the 2017 world champion, is not among the 19 men who will contend for one of three spots up for grabs as the hurdlers vie for places at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August. 

There has been no official word from the athlete or his representatives over his absence. He has raced sparingly this season, running twice indoors and once outdoors. On April 29, he ran 13.67 for a second place finish at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The 29-year-old McLeod has not had the best of fortune at Jamaica’s national championships in recent years. In 2021, he finished at eighth in the final at Kingston’s National Stadium and then infamously blamed the Jamaican authorities for mistreating him.

“I don’t think I was given or granted a fair opportunity to make the team with this ridiculous schedule that I have never seen in my years in track and field where they have semi-finals late in the evening and then, without recovery and the country was in complete lockdown so we were unable to go back to the hotel and get food,” he told media at a press conference in the United Kingdom days later.

“So, my team and I, we did the best we could and we went to a little lounge at the hotel and drank some soup and had a salad because that was all they had, trying to go back to the track and five in the morning for a final at eight, I mean, that’s stupid."

Then in 2022, he finished at the back of the pack once again after hitting a hurdle early into the race and failed in his effort to qualify for an attempt to win a shot at another world title.

Meanwhile, the event which is expected to be keenly contested, will feature a stacked that includes reigning Olympic champion Hansle Parchment, Olympic bronze medalist Ronald Levy and Commonwealth Games champion Rasheed Broadbell, who are expected to be in the running for places on the Jamaican team to Budapest.

However, the battle for places will have to be earned as the likes of Phillip Lemonious the 2023 NCAA Outdoor champion and a resurgent Tyler Mason will also be targeting breakthroughs to the international scene.

Tokyo Olympic semi-finalist Damion Thomas and the talented LaFranz Campbell are also down to compete for spots.

Orlando Bennett, the 2022 NACAC bronze medallist, is also among the 19 as well as collegiate standouts Jaheem Hayles, Sharvis Simmonds, Michael Buchannan, Jordani Woodley, and Andre Douglas.

The multi-talented Dejour Russell will also be keen to get a look in on a team to a major senior championship.

 

 

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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