McLeod takes gold in Doha

jamaican hurdler makes statement at diamond league

DOHA, Qatar – Jamaican Omar McLeod clocked the fastest time of the year for the 110m hurdles, crossing the line in 13.05 seconds in the Doha Diamond League today. Fellow Jamaican Hansle Parchment was second in 13.10 and Spain’s Orlando Ortega ran 13.12 for third place.

Omar McLeod (right) storming to victory in the 110m hurdles.
Omar McLeod (right) storming to victory in the 110m hurdles.

Olympic champion Aries Merritt finished sixth having recently returned from a kidney transplant.

“It wasn’t the perfect race and I hit a lot of hurdles on the way, but I’m so happy I could win,” said the 22-year-old McLeod. “I’m going to the Rio Olympic Games with the aim of winning gold,” he said.

Prior to his departure for Doha on Monday, McLeod and his coach Doug Case discussed the plan for the season as they build towards the hunt for gold at the Olympics in Rio. It involved not running any ‘crazy fast times’.Everything has been going according to plan save for the fact that McLeod can’t help going faster and faster. Today’s was his second world leading time in a week following his 13.08s run at the Drake Relays last Saturday.

In February the 22-year-old won the World Indoor Championships and then just over a week ago, he created history by becoming the first sprint hurdler to break 10-seconds in the 100 metres when he ran 9.99 in Arkansas.

Case said the improvement could be a season long process that they had been preparing for from the offseason.

Meanwhile American Tori Bowie streaked to victory in the women’s 100 meters, equalling her personal best and smashing the meeting record with a world-leading time of 10.80 seconds.

The 25-year-old, who was the world’s fastest woman over 100m in 2014, edged out her Dutch rival Dafne Schippers by 0.03 seconds.

Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown finished third in 10.91 to ensure the leading trio all broke Allyson Felix’s meeting record of 10.92 set in 2012.

Eighty current and former Olympic medalists and nine reigning world outdoor champions opened their outdoor campaigns at Doha’s Suhaim Bin Hamam Stadium, hoping to find form ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio in August.

Kenya’s former Olympic and three-times world champion Asbel Kiprop strode decisively to win the 1500 meters in 3 minutes 32.15 seconds, with his countryman Elijah Motonei finishing second to delight the ecstatic, flag-waving Kenyan fans.

Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana powered away from Kenya’s Mercy Cherono with a stunning display of front-running to win the women’s 3,000 meters in a world leading time of 8 minutes 23.11 seconds.

American Erik Kynard saw off China’s Zhang Guowei, winning the high jump with a 2.33m leap.Jamaican sprint great Usain Bolt was among those missing from this year’s competition.

Bolt has not raced over 100m since winning world championship gold last August.

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