Reigning Jamaican Olympic champion Omar McLeod barely held off Spain’s Orlando Ortega to win the men’s 110 meters hurdles on a rain-drenched night at the Shanghai Diamond League in China Saturday.
Running out of lane five, McLeod led from the start and cleared the final hurdle still in front, but was forced into a leaning finish, in order to prevent Ortega from sprinting through in lane eight to take the win.
The result was a world-leading 13.16 seconds while Ortega was timed at 13.17 seconds, with Russian Sergey Shubenkov finishing third in 13.27.
“I was kind of overcome with emotions because I’ve been through a lot this season,” said McLeod, who missed last month’s Commonwealth Games in Australia through injury. “I was hurt a month ago. I still was feeling some slight pain, but I was like, ‘I’m here. “My leg is a little bit sore but my body’s in shock because it’s just fatigue and I haven’t been able to do a 110 workout in like a month. It’s just a lot of emotions.”
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games champion and fellow Jamaican, Ronald Levy, trailed in fourth in 13.33 while fellow countryman Hansle Parchment, who took silver in Gold Coast, Australia, was fifth in 13.48.
Bahamian Gardiner and Miller-Ubio also winners
Bahamian Steven Gardiner won the 400m men event in a record time of 43.99 seconds run, pushing Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, 44.23 into second place.
Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Ubio was also a winner, winning the 200m women event in a meet record and PB time of 22.06 sec, Second was the Netherland’s Dafne Schippers in 22.24, while Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson was third in 22.36 seconds.
Other Jamaican placements
At the same event Jamaican and Commonwealth champion Janieve Russell continued her excellent start to the season, placing second in 400m hurdles with her best-ever time of 53.78. She was nipped at the finishing line by American Olympic Champion Dalilah Muhammad who had a time of 53.77. Jamaica’s Leah Nugent finished sixth in 56.54.
Jamaican athletes also placed in other events. These included Commonwealth shot put champion Danniel Thomas-Dodd’s with a throw of 18.70m, placed second in the event, behind China’s Gong Lijiao, 19.99m; Shanieka Ricketts, 14.55m and Kimberly Williams, 14.35m, were second and third in the triple jump, behind Colombian Caterine Ibarguen, who leaped 14.80m for the win.