JAMAICAN National TRIALS: Omar McLeod shatters national record at Stadium
Omar McLeod set a new national record in the men’s sprint hurdles when he raced to a world-leading 12.90 seconds, to win the final at the National Senior Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday night.
The Olympic champion got out of the blocks fast in the final event of the night, then survived a strong challenge from the improving Ronald Levy and powered home to shatter the previous mark of 12.94 set in 2014 at the Meeting Areva in France by Hansle Parchment.
Levy, a University of Technology student, finished second in 13.01, while Parchment secured third place in 13.19 to pick up the final spot on the team to this summer’s World Championships in London, England.
Schoolboy Dejour Russell recorded a new personal best 13.19 to secure fourth spot. Russell achieved the qualifying time for the World Championships, but missed out on a spot on the team because of his fourth place finish.
It was the third national title for the 23-year-old McLeod.
McLeod, who secured Jamaica’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the men’s 110-metre hurdles with a stunning performance in Rio last year, now has the four top fastest times in the world this year.
His other top times are 13.01 achieved on May 27 in Eugene, USA; 13.04 achieved on April 29 in Des Moines, USA and 13.09 achieved on May 13 in Shanghai, China.
The former Kingston College student and University of Arkansas graduate is now the fifth fastest in history over the 110m hurdles behind American Aris Merritt (12.80), the world record holder; Dayron Robles of Cuba (12.87); Chinese Liu Xiang (12.88) and American David Oliver (12.89).
McLeod said his coach (Edrick Floreal) had asked him to run 12.8.
However, he was happy for the time he recorded.
McLeod said, “God is good. It was a great race. Coach (Edrick Floreal) wanted 12.8, you can never please coach.
“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.”