Omar McLeod says he's happy with his times (Bryan Cummings)
Omar McLeod, the best sprint hurdler this season, has sent a chilling message to his opponents, saying the best is yet to come after running 13.01 seconds, the second-fastest time of the year, to win the 110m hurdles event at the Supreme Ventures Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) National Senior Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday evening.
In the absence of national record holder Hansle Parchment, who was expected to push him, McLeod hurdled smoothly to the line to defend his title, beating Deuce Carter with 13.21 seconds and Commonwealth Games champion Andrew Riley with 13.49 seconds.
Parchment, it is understood, got a medical exemption from the event and, if he can prove his fitness by July 11, should be named on the team to Rio given that his season’s best of 13.10 seconds has him third fastest in the world this year.
McLeod, who has the five fastest times in the world this season, including the world-leading 12.98 seconds, told members of the media on Saturday that whenever he puts a complete race together “greatness awaits”.
The IAAF World Indoors 60m hurdles champion, who is known for the bullet-like starts and who ran the 100m in under 10.00 seconds earlier this year, added: “I am working on the last part of my race now; it’s coming along well. I am really impressed with how I am finishing. I am feeling really strong coming off the sixth hurdle.”
However, he said there is still work to be done. “We need to go back to the drawing board and start to work on the start. I have not done any start work, to be honest; we need to go and put that together. And when we put those two together, greatness awaits,” he said with a chuckle.
His times have been consistent so far this season with times ranging from 12.98 seconds to 13.08 seconds. “I am satisfied with my times. I have been consistently running 13.00 seconds and 12.90s, so that’s a good sign and I am hoping to do a big drop come Rio,” the 15th fastest man ever over the distance, said.
The former Manchester High and Kingston College athlete, who had his own fan group in the stands decked out in white T-shirts with his face printed on them, said his next race will be at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 15.