McLeod eyes fast time in Monaco
MONTE CARLO, Monaco:
Hot shot Omar McLeod leads five Rio-bound Jamaican athletes into action today at the Herculis meeting to be held at the Louis II Stadium of Monaco, which will be the ninth stop on the 2016 IAAF Diamond League circuit.
The first Jamaican in action on the day will be Damar Forbes in the men's long jump. Veronica Campbell-Brown will line up in the women's 100m, Julian Forte in the men's 200m, and Kimberly Williams will contest the women's triple jump.
McLeod will face the starter in the men's 100m hurdles, which is a Diamond Race at the meet. This will be only his third Diamond Race appearance having taken the first two of the season. Since then, he has been joined at the top of the standing in the event by Spain's Orlando Ortego. Both are on 20 points.
McLeod, who is fresh off retaining his national title, will look to continue his unbeaten run this season and regain sole leadership in the race for the Diamond trophy.
"It is good when you dominate, especially my event. You want to be consistent, and it is always a confidence booster when you keep winning," McLeod said.
"It would give me a huge drive going into the Olympics if I can win this one, so I am going full force now to test where I am at."
McLeod, who goes into the race with a season's best (SB) of 12.98 seconds, believes that once he executes and has fun, another sub-13 time is on the cards.
Campbell-Brown will seek to put the disappointment of her fourth-place finish in the 100m at Jamaica's trials, which left her with only the 200m and 4x100m to look forward to at the Olympics.
The 34-year-old Campbell-Brown ran 11.10 to finish fourth at trials but will be hoping to get back to her SB 10.83 form. She will have for company recently crowned European champion Dafne Schippers, whose SB also stands at 10.83.
The race will also feature Tianna Bartoletta fresh off her personal best 10.78 run for second at the US trials.
Forte is another Jamaican athlete who will be looking to bounce back following mixed results at the Jamaican trials. The 23-year-old false started in the 100m and finished third in the 200m in the absence of Usain Bolt.
Forte will do battle with home star Christophe Lemaitre and European 100m champion Churandy Martina of the Netherlands, who also crossed the line first in the 200m but was disqualified for a lane violation.
Williams, the five-time national triple jump champion, will face a tough field featuring Olympic champion Olga Rypakova, world champion Caterine Ibarguen, World Indoor champion Yulimar Rojas, and European champion Patricia Mamona.
The 27-year-old is not concerned about the quality of the field and is instead focusing on what she has to do.
"Once of the main things I want to do is continue to focus on myself, execute my technique properly, and just continue with the form that I am in right now," Williams said.
Forbes who registered an SB effort of 8.16m in the men's long jump to once again win at Jamaica's national trials earlier this month, will seek to outleap Diamond race leader in the event Marquise Goodwin of the United States and last year's IAAF World Championships silver medallist, Fabrice Lapiere of Australia.
Forbes is eyeing a new SB as he said he would be comfortable with "anything over 8.2m".