McLeod's got it!

McLeod sets 12.90secs National Record in 110m hurdles

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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Rio Olympics champion Omar McLeod broke the 110m hurdles national record with a fantastic 12.90secs (+0.7 mps) and brought the house down on the third and penultimate day of the Puma National Senior Championships inside the National Stadium last night.

McLeod showed tremendous speed and composure over the 10 hurdles to lower Hansle Parchment's three-year-old record of 12.94secs and was just outside the world record of 12.80 held by American Aries Merritt since 2012.

McLeod, who swept gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics in 13.05secs, now has the four fastest times in the world this year — 12.90, 13.01, 13.04 and 13.09. The former Manchester High, Kingston College and University of Arkansas student is now the fifth fastest over the 110m hurdles in history.

Only world record holder Merritt (12.80), Dayron Robles of Cuba (12.87), Chinese Liu Xiang (12.88) and American David Oliver (12.89) have gone faster than McLeod.

“God is good. It was a great race. Coach (Edrick Floreal) wanted 12.8, so I know he is going to be pissed, you can never please coach,” said McLeod.

“But PR, national record, 12.90, fifth fastest man in history, I have just been told, so I am just excited about what is to come,” he added.

McLeod's outstanding achievement was certainly the highlight but he was pushed by the improving Ronald Levy, who clocked a wonderful 13.13secs, which was just outside his personal best of 13.10secs, which makes him the second fastest man in the world this season. Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment, who looked out of sorts in the semi-final with 13.78secs, returned and snatched the third spot with 13.19secs from lane eight.

Then Calabar High schoolboy, 17-year-old Dejour Russell, who skipped the Junior Championships, ran well for fourth in a personal best of 13.32secs for his first effort over the senior hurdles of 1.06m rather than the 99.1 cm for juniors. Russell had behind him the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Andrew Riley in fifth in 13.35.

Meanwhile, world leader and medal contender at the London Championships, Fedrick Dacres, continued his great form, winning the event with 66.52m ahead of Travis Smikle with 63.26m and Chad Wright third with 60.20m. Dacres has the top two throws in the world this year of 68.88 and 68.67m.

Earlier, Danniel Thomas-Dodd retained her shot put title with a throw of 18.80m and was the only competitor who achieved the qualifying mark of 17.75m. Gleneve Grange was second with 16.28m and Isheka Binns third with 15.86m.

Thomas-Dodd, 24, who will be competing at her second World Championships, having finished 12th in Beijing in 2015 with a distance of 16.62m, and 14th at the 2016 Rio Olympics with 16.99m.

Former Jamaica College standout, Clayton Brown, now at the University of Florida, won the men's high jump with a leap of 2.15m, the same as second-placed Carlington Moulton with schoolboy Lushane Wilson of St Jago third with 2.10m. The qualifying mark for the World Championships is 2.30m.

There was a new champion in the men's long jump as Ramone Bailey of Eagles Track Club leapt 8.16m and captured his first senior title and in the process achieved the qualifying mark of 8.15m. Olympian Damar Forbes was second with 8.03m and the University of Technology's Tajay Gayle third with 7.87m.

Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson advanced to the final of the women's 400m, clocking 50.48secs to hold off a determined Novlene Williams-Mills in 50.62secs with Stephenie-Ann McPherson third in 50.68secs.

It was a controlled run by Jackson which made her the eighth fastest in the world this year.

But minutes later, in-form National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion Chrisann Gordon lowered her personal best to 50.30secs and enters the final with the fastest time. Gordon, who as a 14-year-old ran 52.62 seconds and 51.62 as a 17-year-old, looked ready to deliver on that huge promise. Gordon is now the fifth fastest in the world this season.

Jamaica's relay gold medallist Christine Day was second some distance behind in 51.25secs. Anastasia LeRoy was third in 51.49secs.

In the men's 400m, the smooth Nathan Allen was poetry in motion as he eased home in 45.49secs to win the first semi-final ahead of Jamari Rose in 45.79secs and Jermaine Gayle with 45.82secs.

National record holder Rusheen McDonald seemed to have regained his confidence and form, winning the second semi-final in 45.66secs and had time to ease down just before the line after catching longtime leader Steven Gayle, who was second in 45.74secs.

Then, if fans thought the first two semi-final winners were impressive, Demish Gaye threw down the gauntlet, clocking 45.29secs with a lot in reserve. The fast-starting Peter Mathews was second in 45.66secs. The stage is now set for an epic battle between Gaye, Allen and McDonald.

Meanwhile, the diminutive Natoya Goule won her fourth 800m title leading from the front to win in 2:00.90 minutes. Jazmine Fray was second in 2:02.28 minutes and just missed the qualifying mark of 2:01.00.

But there was a new 800m men's champion as Daniel Glave of G C Foster College found space on the inside and sneaked past longtime leader Strymar Livingston. Glave won in 1:47.47 minutes, with Livingston from the University of Kansas second also in 1:47.58 minutes, and Chadoye Dawson third in 1:47.68 minutes. However, all three are outside of the qualifying mark of 1:45.90 minutes.

In the women's 200m, Jura Levy was safely through to the final after winning semi-final one in 23.13secs ahead of Shimayra Williams in 23.41secs. Simone Facey took semi-final two in 22.73secs and pulled her cousin Shashalee Forbes into second in 22.93secs. Jonelle Smith was third in 23.45secs.

Jodean Williams ran her personal best of 22.94secs and won the third semi-final ahead of Shavine Hodges in 23.48secs.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Rasheed Dwyer clocked 20.16secs (+0.3) and booked his spot in the final for tonight. Olympics 2012 bronze medallist Warren Weir closed well for second in 20.29secs with a tired-looking Julian Forte third with 20.41secs.

The promising Chad Walker, formerly of Jamaica College, St Jago and now at UTech, has improved leaps and bounds and won semi-final two in 20.35secs (+0.2) easing down.

National 100m champion Yohan Blake, also looked comfortable, shutting it down late in 20.30secs (+1.1) and won ahead of Kenroy Anderson in 20.39secs.

Caniggia Raynor, for the umpteenth time, broke the national hammer throw record, taking it to 70.93m yesterday.

Raynor, 26, was the only competitor, but was still motivated enough to increase the national record by .02m.

He is now ranked 77th in the world behind Poland's Pawel Fajdek with 82.40m.

But Raynor's distance of 70.93m is still well short of the World Championships qualifying mark of 76m.

And former record holder Natalie Grant won the women's hammer throw with 56.87m ahead of Kadine Johnson with 54.49m, and Clunis Nayoka, third of the three competitors, with 49.53m.

Grant's mark was also well below the World Championships qualifying mark of 71m.

Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk is the world leader with a throw of 79.73m.


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