Thu | Nov 23, 2017

London 2017 | Hurdle cleared! - McLeod wants 4x100 inclusion after gaining Jamaica's first gold

Published:Tuesday | August 8, 2017 | 12:14 AMAndre Lowe
Omar McLeod celebrates after winning the 110m hurdles in 13.04 at the IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London, England yesterday.
An elated McLeod after winning the men's 110m hurdles final.
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LONDON, England:

Having conquered the sprint hurdling world, freshly minted Omar McLeod will be turning his attention elsewhere, and he hopes it will start with a leg on Jamaica's 4x100m relay team at the IAAF World Championships in London.

The 23-year-old is also looking to broaden his range at the international level and is planning a raid on the shorter sprints in the coming season.

McLeod, the reigning Olympic champion, showed his power and poise to top the podium in 13.04 seconds, beating Russia's Sergey Shubenkov, 13.14, who is one of several athletes competing as neutral and Hungary's Balazs Baji, 13.28 to the finish line. McLeod's teammate Hansle Parchment was eighth in 13.37.

With his world title joining the Olympic and World Indoor title he won in 2016, McLeod, who says he still has ambitions of breaking the 110m hurdles world record of 12.80 seconds, feels it's time to give himself another challenge and informed that he will be focusing on the 100m and 200m next season.

"Why settle? I want to be historic. I am not just about hurdling. World Indoor, Olympic, World Champion; I have done it all for hurdling, so I just have to break that world record now and just experiment a little more in other events," McLeod declared.

First, he wants to help Jamaica to another gold medal in the 4x100m relay on Saturday.

"I have that in mind so hopefully I will get a chance to go out there and help Jamaica to another gold medal," McLeod said last night inside the London Stadium.

"If I don't run it, then that's fine, but I really wanted to come out here and do my job first."

"I am trying to stay fresh. I love representing my country and whatever I can do I will do it," he added.

McLeod ran the first leg in his professional group's 38.17 seconds win at the Austin Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in April.

His personal best over 100m is 9.99 seconds ran in 2016, with his 200m best coming in at 22.00 done all the way back in 2012.

McLeod's gold joins Usain Bolt's 100m bronze medal won on Saturday with two more Jamaicans Nathon Allen and Demish Gaye looking to step on the podium for tonight's 400m final set for 9:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m Jamaica time).

Also yesterday, Shaneika Ricketts finished eighth in her first senior international triple jump final with a best of 14.13m, with Kimberly Williams finding things a little rougher with an uncharacteristic 10th place 14.01m placing.

The event was won by Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, 14.91m ahead of Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia), 14.89m and Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova, 14.77m.

Three of the four Jamaicans in the women's 400m are through to the final.

Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 50.56, was second in her semi, while Novlene Williams-Mills, 50.67, and Shericka Jackson, 50.70; survived a nervous wait after finishing third and fourth respectively in their semi-final and out of the automatic spots before advancing as the fastest 'losers'. Chrisann Gordon missed out after running third in her semi-final in 50.87.

 

Through to semis

 

All three women's 400m hurdles competitors are through to the semis. Ristananna Tracey won her heat convincingly in 54.92 and is the second-fastest qualifier to the semis. Rhonda Whyte, 55.18, was second in her heat, while Leah Nugent, is also through despite her fifth placed 56.16 seconds run.

Kemar Mowatt, 48.66 is the lone qualifier to the men's 400m hurdles final after his fourth place finish in his semi-final. Jaheel Hyde was third in his semi-final in a time of 49.75 and like Ricardo Cunningham, who was sixth in his semi in 50.54, will not feature in the medal race. Earlier in the session, Yohan Blake clocked 20.39 to win his 200m heat, while Rasheed Dwyer also moved on to the semi-finals with a 20.49 third place finish in his heat.

Warren Weir failed to advance after his fourth place 20.60 seconds run, which prompted him announcing that he was representing the country for the final time.

Weir posted a picture of a fist bearing the Jamaican colours to his Instagram account over the following caption, "No greater joy than being able to represent my country at its highest level lots of joy and tears and extremely humble to represent my country one last time #TheEnd."