National 110m hurdles record holder Omar McLeod continued his resurgence this season with a winning effort at the Paavo Nurmi Games, a Word Athletics Continental Tour-Gold event in Turku, Finland on Tuesday.

The 2016 Olympic and 2017 World champion produced a season’s best 13.25 to win the final of the men’s sprint hurdles ahead of Belgium’s Elie Bacari (13.38) and Finland’s Elmo Lakka (13.43).

The 30-year-old earlier ran 13.29 to advance fastest from the heats.

The women’s sprint hurdles saw World Championships silver medallist Britany Anderson produce a season’s best 12.87 for sixth in the final after running 12.93 earlier in the heats.

The final was won by American World champion Nia Ali in 12.48 just ahead of Dutchwoman Nadine Visser (12.51). Ireland’s Sarah Lavin was third in 12.66.

This was McLeod’s third win in four events this season, with his previous two coming in Italy on May 15 and 19 with times of 13.37 and 13.47 at the Savona International Meeting and Lucca International Meeting, respectively.

Elsewhere, two-time World Championships triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts took the win in the women’s triple jump with a best jump of 14.17m coming in the first round of the competition.

Italy’s Dariya Derkach was second with 14.08m while Sweden’s Maja Askag was third with 14.06m.

Two-time World champion Anderson Peters threw 82.58m for fourth in the javelin throw behind India’s Neeraj Chopra (85.97m) and the Finnish pair of Toni Keranen (84.19m) and Oliver Helander (83.96m).

Jamaican sprint hurdlers Omar McLeod and Britany Anderson delivered strong performances at the 13th Savona International Meeting in Savona, Italy on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old McLeod, the 2016 Rio Olympics champion in the 110m hurdles, marked an encouraging start to his season with a thrilling victory. The 2017 world champion clocked a winning time of 13.37 seconds in his first competitive race in the event since April 2023 at the LSU Invitational in the United States. Despite facing challenges with rhythm and hitting hurdles during the race, he held off Great Britain's Joshua Zeller (13.42) and Spain's Enrique Llopis (13.43) to secure the victory.

Anderson, meanwhile, the 2022 World Championship silver medalist in the 100m hurdles, continued her impressive form by winning her event with a season-best time of 12.88 seconds. Anderson engaged in a tight battle with Ireland's Zarah Lavin (12.92) and Italy's Eliza Maria Di Lazzaro (12.99), ultimately crossing the line first to claim victory.

Anderson's performance marked a significant improvement from her previous outing, where she clocked 13.23 seconds for victory at the X Athletic Elite Meeting in Milan earlier in April.

With the national championships in Jamaica approaching in just six weeks, the success of both McLeod and Anderson signals promising prospects as they aim to excel and secure coveted spots in Jamaica's Olympic team for the upcoming Games in Paris.

 

As they continue their preparations for Jamaica’s national championships in June, Olympic champion Omar McLeod and World Championship silver medallist Britany Anderson, were both winners at a La Fratellanza 1874 meeting in Italy on Thursday.

McLeod, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday, won the 100m in a brisk 10.32 in a race that also included Britain’s Adam Gemili. Obviously elated over his victory, the 2017 world champion, declared on Instagram, “A win today in the 100m was all I had on my birthday wish list.

“10.32 in an ankle freezing 15-degree weather is a solid opener. Beyond excited for what is to come this season.”

Meanwhile, Anderson, in only her second hurdles race back from injury and knee surgery that saw her miss the entire 2023 season, clocked 13.34 into a 1.4 m/s headwind in a dominant victory in which she widened her lead at each hurdle.

As the meeting concluded on Thursday, things are looking up for the Jamaican sprint hurdlers looking to reclaim their places among Jamaica's elite as the Olympics approach this summer.

In highly anticipated comebacks, Olympic champion Omar McLeod and World Championship silver medalist Britany Anderson are set to make their season debuts at the ISTAF Indoor Meeting in Berlin on February 23, 2024. Both sprint hurdlers will both compete in 60m dash as they step back into the competitive arena after some time away.

For McLeod, the journey to Berlin marks a return to competition after facing setbacks in recent years. The 2016 Olympic champion has struggled with poor form, leading to his failure to qualify for the Jamaican team in both the Tokyo Olympics and the World Athletics Championships in 2022. However, reports from his training camp in Italy hinted at a remarkable turnaround, with McLeod displaying renewed focus and determination to regain his winning form on the track.

Eager for redemption, McLeod is approaching the ISTAF Indoor Meeting as a pivotal moment in his career as the 2017 World 110m hurdles world champion aims to showcase the fruits of his hard work and dedication in front of the global athletics community.

On the other hand, Anderson's story adds another layer of inspiration to the event.

The silver medalist from the 2022 World Championships in Oregon had faced a significant hurdle in the form of a knee injury that required surgery in early 2023. This setback forced her to miss the entire season.

The ISTAF Indoor Meeting in Berlin is now the stage for Anderson's much-anticipated return from surgery.

The meet otherwise boasts stellar lineup, featuring world record holder Grant Holloway, European indoor champion Samuele Ceccarelli from Italy, Zaynab Dosso, the third fastest 60m sprinter globally, and British European Champion Daryll Neita.

Among the local contenders were the fastest sprinters of the German Leichtathletik-Verbands (DLV), including Alexandra Burghardt, Rebekka Haase (both in the 60m), and Franziska Schuster (60m hurdles). The anticipation built as the world prepared to witness the thrilling competitions unfold on the renowned blue track in Berlin, with McLeod and Anderson's comebacks adding an extra layer of excitement to an already star-studded event.

 

 

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.

 

 

Roja Stona and Akera Nugent each produced impressive wins at the LSU Invitational on Saturday. Meanwhile, Omar McLeod, who is attempting a comeback after missing out on the last two major championships, finished second in the 110m hurdles won by fellow Jamaican Phillip Lemonious.

Stona, who transferred from Clemson to Arkansas during the summer, threw a massive 67.02m to win the discus over compatriot and teammate Ralford Mullings, who hit a mark of 62.16m for second place.

Claudio Romero of LSU was a distance third with his best throw of 50.69m.

Stona’s previous best was 65.11m set in May 2022.

In the Women’s shot put, Lloydricia Cameron finished fourth with a season-best 16.90m, well below her lifetime best of 18.33m set in May 2021.

Georgia’s Anna da Silva won the event with a throw of 17.62m with Ole Miss’ Jalaan Davies the runner up with 17.51m.

Florida’s Alida Van Daalen was third with 17.45m.

Arkansas freshman Jaydon Hibbert was a winner once again in the triple with yet another effort over 17m. The NCAA and World U20 record holder, jumped 17.17m for an easy victory over the rest of the field that included his Arkansas teammates Carey McLeod and Wayne Pinnock who finished third and fourth with marks of 15.67m and 15.65m, respectively.

Alabama’s Christian Edwards was the closest to Hibbert, taking second place with 16.12m.

World championship silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts has been trying to find her best form this season. The reigning Commonwealth Games champion was well off her lifetime best of 14.98m but she didn’t need to be, winning in a season’s best of 14.06m.

No other competitor managed to soar beyond 14m as Tennessee’s Charisma Taylor’s 13.82m landed her second place while Florida’s Jasmine Moore took third with 13.77m.

On the track, Ackera Nugent celebrated her 21st birthday with confidence-boosting win over the talented American Alia Armstrong.

Nugent, the World U20 60m record holder and 2023 NCAA Indoor 60m champion, clocked a season-best 12.52 to hold off Armstrong who ran 12.59 for second place.

Michelle Harrison of Athletics Canada was third in 12.93.

Arkansas’ Lemonious won a close race with McLeod, running 13.63 to edge the 2017 World Champion, who was timed in 13.67.

Pierre Lepage of Athletics Canada took third in 13.82.

 

 

 

 

 

It seems as if Julien Alfred sets a new personal best and national record every week.

On January 21, the 21-year-old St Lucian clocked 7.05 and then 7.02, then world-leading times at the Martin Luther King Invitational in New Mexico.

She then set a new personal best and national record of 22.56 over 200m, also in New Mexico on Friday, February 3 at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic.

A day later, on Saturday, she blazed to a new 60m record lowering her own mark to 7.00, the second fastest time in the world this year behind Aleia Hobbs’ 6.98.

The Texas Longhorn senior was miles ahead of Samira Mood of the University of Southern California (USC) who ran a creditable 7.19 and LSU Junior Favour Ofili 7.21.

Aldred’s Texas teammate Kevona Davis was fourth in 7.22.

Several other Caribbean athletes excelled at the two-day meet that began on Friday.

Lamara Distin, the NCAA champion established a new Jamaica national indoor record of 1.94m to easily take gold on Friday. Her Texas A&M teammate Bara Sajdokavic took the runner-up spot with her clearance of 1.87m.

LSU’s Morgan Small was third with 1.81m.

Wayne Pinnock, who transferred from Tennessee to Arkansas during the summer, was an easy winner of the Men’s Long Jump soaring out to a mark of 8.10m.

Kelsey Daniel of New Mexico Junior College was next best with his effort of 7.99m while Texas freshman Solomon Washington was third with 7.85m.

World U20 champion Jaydon Hibbert, a freshman at the University of Arkansas, demonstrated his class with two jumps of 16.73m to win the triple jump competition.

His nearest rival was Russell Robinson of Miami, who leapt out to 16.33m. LSU’s Apalos Edwards secured third place with his best effort of 16.13m.

Texas Longhorn Ackelia Smith of Jamaica produced a mark of 13.92m to win the women’s event ahead of Texas Christian University’s Grace Anigbata (13.24m) and Miami’s Ashley Moore (12.97m).

Meanwhile, Omar McLeod, who was returned to Arkansas to train after failed campaigns over the past two seasons, finished second in the 60m hurdles.

The 2016 Olympic champion clocked 7.61 behind USC’s Omotade Ojora, who ran 7.58 for the win. Texas Tech’s Caleb Dean was third in 7.62,

Demisha Roswell had to settle for second place in the women’s event in a close battle with LSU Junior Leah Phillips, who won in 8.02.

The Texas Tech senior crossed the line in 8.03.

Wisconsin’s Destiny Huven was third in 8.08.

 

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson all safely advanced to Sunday’s Women’s 200m final as action continued on day three of the 2022 Jamaican National Senior Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The three 100m medalists from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics all looked extremely easy to win their semi-finals in 22.54, 22.68 and 22.85, respectively.

Jackson, who secured the 100m title on Friday, looked especially easy, completely shutting down in the last 100m of the race.

Natalliah Whyte (23.05), Ashanti Moore (23.21), Kevona Davis (23.33), Jodean Williams (23.21) and Dominique Clarke (23.29) will join them in the final.

Meanwhile, 100m Champion Yohan Blake led all qualifiers to the Men’s final with a season’s best 20.20 to win his semi-final ahead of Andrew Hudson (20.23).

2020 Olympic finalist Rasheed Dwyer will also contest Sunday’s final after producing 20.35 to win his semi-final ahead of Nigel Ellis (20.45).

Mario Heslop (20.52), Riquan Graham (20.66), Jazeel Murphy (20.67) and Antonio Watson (20.74) complete the line-up for the final.

NCAA Championships silver medalist Charokee Young (50.19), 2020 Olympic finalist Candice McLeod (50.85), Stacey-Ann Williams (50.87) and 2013 World Championship bronze medalist Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.67) led all qualifiers to the Women’s 400m final.

The men were led by Jevaughn Powell (45.38), Anthony Cox (45.43), Nathon Allen (45.52) and Akeem Bloomfield (45.59).

The qualifiers for the Women’s sprint hurdles final were led by Britany Anderson (12.45), Megan Tapper (12.61), 2015 World Champion Danielle Williams (12.59) and Demisha Roswell (12.84).

Reigning Olympic Champion Hansle Parchment (13.24), Orlando Bennett (13.27), Rasheed Broadbell (13.29) and 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Champion Omar McLeod (13.36) led the qualifiers to the Men’s 110m hurdles final.

In the field, 2019 World Championship silver medalist Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.79m to win her seventh national title ahead of Lloydricia Cameron (16.96m) and Danielle Sloley (15.98m).

Wayne Pinnock added to his NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles earlier this season with a personal best 8.14m to win the Men’s long jump ahead of defending World Champion Tajay Gayle (7.97m) and Shawn-D Thompson (7.88m).

 

 

Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion Hansle Parchment ran a world-leading 13.09 to win at the Birmingham Diamond League, at the Alexander Stadium, in London on Saturday.

Parchment finished ahead of countryman and 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod who ran a season’s best 13.17 for second, while Spain’s Asier Martinez was third in 13.22.

Reigning Olympic bronze medallist in the Women’s 100m Shericka Jackson narrowly finished second in the Women’s blue-ribband event, running 11.12 to finish behind British 2019 200m World champion Dina Asher-Smith (11.11). Asher-Smith’s countrywoman Daryll Neita was third in 11.14.

Olympic 800m finalist Natoya Goule was third in the Women’s 800m in 2:00.13 behind Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain (1:58.63) and Renelle Lamote of France (1:59.53).

 

Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion Hansle Parchment has declared himself in good form ahead of a showdown with compatriot and 2016 champion Omar McLeod at the Birmingham Diamond League on Saturday.

With the World Championships and Commonwealth Games on the schedule as major games this year, the Jamaicans are expected to see quite a bit of each other over the coming months.

McLeod, unfortunately, did not get the opportunity to defend his title as he missed out on making the Jamaica squad after failing to qualify from the country’s national trials and will no doubt have his eyes set on redemption later this year.

For his part, Parchment has in the meantime established himself as the country’s top performer at the event and will be looking to keep the wins coming in.

“So far I am feeling good, I think I am in good form,” Parchment told members of the media on Thursday.

“I still have a lot of work to do but I am looking forward to executing a really good race [in Birmingham] and hoping to get a really lovely time on this beautiful track.”

The race will also feature former world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain.”

Omar McLeod and Natoya Goule claimed runner-up spots in their respective events as the 2022 Penn Relays came to a conclusion in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia on Saturday.

McLeod, the 2016 Olympic champion, who missed out on a place in the Tokyo Olympics in Japan last year, ran a season-best 13.22 for second place in the Olympic Development Men’s 110m hurdles that was won by the USA’s Devon Allen.

 The American, who ran a world-leading 13.12 in Annapolis a week ago, clocked 13.11 for a commanding victory in what will be his final full season in track and field. Allen, the 2021 Diamond League champion has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League (NFL).

Jaylan McConico was a distant third in 13.70.

In the College Men’s 110m hurdles, Phillip Lemonious claimed victory in 13.48. The Jamaican who attends the University of Arkansas was a comfortable winner over Jaheem Hayes (13.57) of Syracuse and Clemson’s Devon Brooks (13.62)

Goule, a finalist in the 800m at the Tokyo Olympics, ran a fast 1:24.09 in the Olympic Development Women’s 600m Elite event but was no match for the Olympic champion Athing Mu of the United States who was a runaway winner in 1:22.74, the fourth-fastest time ever run over the distance.

Nia Atkins of the USA took the final podium spot in 1:25.14.

Jamaica’s Rajay Hamilton lost out in a close battle with Ghana’s Alex Amankwah in the men’s 600m, clocking 1:16.00 to the Ghanian’s 1:15.88. Kameron Jones was third in 1:16.47.

Camperdown High School made good on the promise they showed in the heats on Friday to win the Championship of America High School boys 4x100m title, as action came to a close at the 2022 Penn relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The team of Rimando Thomas, Junior Harris, Jason Lewis, and Roshawn Clarke sped to 40.13 to narrowly finish ahead of Jamaica College (40.16) and St. Jago (40.17).

Kingston College were also winners on the day as the team of Amal Glasgow, Shaemar Uter, Emmanuel Rwotomiya and Marcinho Rose combined to run 3:09.52 to win the Championship of America High School boys 4x400m final ahead of Bullis School from Maryland (3:11.90) and St. Jago (3:12.09).

Jamaica College’s super 4x800m team was victorious in the Championship of America High School boys final.

Omarion Davis, Handal Roban, Kemarrio Bygrave, and J’Voughnn Blake combined to dominate the field in 7:28.38. Ridge High School from New Jersey ran 7:41.59 for second while West Springfield from Virginia ran 7:45.14.

In individual events, Jamaican Phillip Lemonious, competing for the University of Arkansas, won the College men’s 110m hurdles in 13.48 ahead of Jaheem Hayles of Syracuse (13.57) and Clemson’s Devon Brooks (13.62).

Rikkoi Brathwaite from the British Virgin Islands won the College men’s 100m in 10.28 competing for Indiana University. Ohio State’s Eric Harris was second with the same time, while Houston’s Edward Sumler IV was third in 10.30.

Jamaican Olympic 800m finalist Natoya Goule was second in the Olympic Development Women's Elite 600m in 1:24.09 behind reigning American Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu (1:22.75). The USA's Nia Akins ran 1:25.14 for third. Another Jamaican, Rajay Hamilton, ran 1:16.00 to finish second in the men's equivalent behind Ghana's Alex Amankwah (1:15.88).The USA's Kameron Jones was third in 1:16.47.

Jamaican 400m specialist Rusheen McDonald was second in the men's 300m in 32.69, narrowly losing out to Nigeria's Chidi Okezie who ran 32.68 to win. American Will London III ran 32.71 for third.

Former Olympic and World champion Omar McLeod ran 13.22 for second in the men's 110m hurdles. American Devon Allen ran a meet record 13.11 for victory while his countryman Jaylan McConico was third in 13.70.

Jamaica’s Roje Stona, competing for Clemson, was second in the College men’s discus with 65.11m. Virginia’s Claudio Romero was the winner with 67.11m and Army’s Jamir Gibson was third with 59.04m.

Another Jamaican, Romaine Beckford competing for the University of South Florida, jumped over 2.23m to win the College men’s high jump ahead of Ohio State’s Shaun Miller Jr (2.23m) and Princeton’s Jeff Hollis (2.17m).

 

 

 

Jamaican Olympic and World 110m hurdles gold medallist Omar McLeod opened his 2022 outdoor season with a 13.27 effort to win at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational at the University of Miami Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables, Florida on Saturday.

McLeod easily won the race ahead of Americans Nicholas Anderson (13.52) and Zaza Wellington (13.69).

Andre Ewers, who represented Jamaica in the 200m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, won the Men’s 100m in 10.30 ahead of Spencer Schmidt (10.33) and Damarcus Simpson (10.36).

Trinidad’s Asa Guevara narrowly missed out on a win in the 200m running 20.70 to finish behind Great Britain's 400m specialist Matthew Hudson-Smith (20.68). Jamaica’s Nathon Allen was third in 20.88.

Lloydrecia Cameron threw 17.78m for second place in the Women’s Shot Put behind Oklahoma’s Payden Montana (17.88m). Miami’s Hannah Hall was third with (17.01m).

 

Omar McLeod is now a member of the Olympic training group run by Petros Kyprianou and based at the Episcopal School in Jacksonville, Florida. Last week McLeod, 27, who was a part of the Tumbleweed group since 2019, told athletes in the group that he was leaving.

However, the 2016 Olympic 110m hurdles champion gave no indication of why he had decided to leave or where he intended to go. His agent Mario Bassani declined to shed any light on the move which apparently took many by surprise.

As it turns out, the 2017 World Champion did not move too far away as Kyprianou shed light on his destination with a post on social media on Monday.

“Welcome to the group Omar @_warrior_child_!. Very excited to take this journey with you! Very thankful to @episcopaleagles for helping create this Olympic training group. What a great place to work at…”

Kyprianou joined the coaching staff at the University of Georgia in 2008 as an assistant coach, eventually becoming head coach in 2015. During his time there he won several awards while leading UGA to 11 top-four NCAA finishes in the last five seasons.

In 2017, he was named Women Outdoor Coach of the Year. In 2018, he won the NCAA Indoor Women’s title as well as the Men’s Outdoor title, which resulted in him winning the awards of Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year and the Men’s Outdoor Coach of the Year.

However, despite his success there, reports emerged in May 2021 that Kyprianou planned to leave Georgia when his contract expired in June that year.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported that in 2020, he turned down a multi-year extension offered by then-athletic director Greg McGarity and instead took a one-year extension.

In September, News4Jax reported that Kyprianou had joined the coaching staff at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville as the director of sports performance, a rare position in high school athletics.

 Among the athletes he coached at UGA were Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, USA triple jump champion, Kenturah Orji and Jamaican Olympian Chanice Porter.

He has also coached the likes of British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, St Lucia’s Levern Spencer, Maicel Uibo, Lynna Irby and rising sprinter/long jumper Matthew Boling.

 

 

 

 

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