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TrackLife International

Trio Shuts US out of Worlds Hurdles Medals

Omar McLeod. Ridley Ingram photo

A Jamaican and two Frenchmen raced ahead of the field to shut out the USA from winning any medal in the men’s 60m hurdles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships on US soil in Portland, Oregon this past weekend (Mar. 17-20).

Twenty-one year old Omar McLeod, a Jamaican business management student at the University of Arkansas, covered the distance in a personal best (PB) and equaled the world leading 7.41secs. McLeod defeated Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (season best/SB 7.46) and his compatriot Dimitri Bascou (7.48), the fastest man in the world this season before Oregon, and left Oregon as the only gold medalist for Jamaica. It is the first time a Jamaican has won the event at these Championships and the first time the US has not won a single medal in it. USA’s representatives Jarret Eaton (SB 7.50) and Spencer Adams (7.64) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Hungary’s title holder Balazs Baji (7.65), the US Virgin Islands’ Eddie Lovett (7.75), and Barbados’s Shane Brathwaite (7.88) completed the field in that order.

After his gold medal run, McLeod tweeted: “Never in a million years would I imagine being a WORLD CHAMPION at the age of 21 years. All Glory to God.”

McLeod, a pre-Oregon race favorite, was a finalist in the 110m hurdles at last year’s summer World Championships in Beijing. After going to Beijing as a top ranking rookie hurdler with a 12.97 PB, McLeod finished only sixth in 13.18. He was also a four-time NCAA Champion in his two years at Arkansas before forfeiting his final two seasons of NCAA eligibility to turn professional last summer.

Lagarde, a former World Juniors champion (2010), was fourth in Beijing, while Bascou’s PB is 13.16, which he achieved in the Beijing preliminaries. He was fifth in the final with 13.17.

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