Omar McLeod runs through tragedy to win record fourth Shanghai Diamond League

By Courtesy of the IAAF May 18, 2019
Omar McLeod Omar McLeod

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

Out strong, the 25-year-old Jamaican cruised to a 13.12 performance, holding off China's Xie Wenjun, the Asian champion, who lowered his lifetime best to 13.17, moving to second on the Asian all-time list.

It was an emotional victory for McLeod, who learned of his aunt’s death last night. The victory, he said, was a humble tribute.

“It was really tough to just get out of bed and show up, but I wanted to show up, and whatever the outcome, to be sure I was there and do the best that I could.”

“With only 3 hours of sleep in the past 24hrs, not worrying about what the outcome might've been , i just wanted to show up in your honor, This race was for you , Aunty. RIP,” McLeod wrote later on.

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    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.”

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