Sat | Aug 19, 2017

No stopping McLeod in Eugene

Published:Thursday | May 25, 2017 | 5:00 AMRaymond Graham
Omar McLeod

It will take a brave man to bet against Omar McLeod in the men's 110 metres hurdles when he lines up in the Diamond League event Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.

The 2016 winner should once again show his rivals who is the boss in the event. The World leader so far with a 13.04 seconds clocking at the Drake Relays in April, McLeod followed that up with a good win in Shanghai, where he outlasted Spain's Orlando Ortega. The opposition in Eugene looks a bit weaker and he should score a convincing win. Following his second-place finish to McLeod at the Drake Relays, Great Britain's Andrew Pozzi, who clocked 13.24, will be hoping to upstage the Olympic champion, but he will have his hands full trying to get the better of the world leader.

American Devon Allen, who was second at the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) Meet last weekend, placed second to McLeod a year ago and is expected to produce a genuine effort before his home fans.

Jamaica's Ronald Levy will make his Diamond League debut. Despite a disappointing result at the JII Meet, he could show that his win over countryman Hansle Parchment several weeks ago at the UTech Classic was no fluke. A big effort is expected from him here as he seeks to improve on his season's best of 13.33.

 

NOT USUAL SELF

 

Defending World champion, Russia's Sergey Shubenkov, did not look his usual self in Shanghai. It appears his one year absence from the track because of a ban on Russian athletes at last year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has left him with poor form. He will be hoping for a better performance this time around and it will be interesting to see how he performs here. Americans Aries Merritt and David Oliver have also not hit top form as yet and will have to step up considerably if they hope to finish near to the top.

It, therefore, should be smooth sailing for McLeod. If conditions are right, a sub-13 seconds clocking is possible.