Jamaica’s former Olympic champion Omar McLeod is today (June 17) clearing the air on why he failed to start the men’s 110-metre hurdles event at the Wanda Diamond League meet in Oslo, Norway on Thursday.
McLeod, in a statement to his more than 128,000 Instagram followers, said several mental and physical factors forced him to reconsider participation as he would not have given his best on the track.
According to the gold medal-winning star from the 2016 Rio Olympics, missing out on his cousin’s funeral had greatly impacted his emotional state. Continuing, McLeod explained that, with the Jamaica National Senior & Junior Championships coming up in a matter of days, he has prioritised making the team for the World Athletics Championships.
He admitted being unable to compartmentalise but refused to apologise for his shortcomings.
See statement in full below:
“As athletes, being able to compartmentalize is very important and something that we must master in order to be at the highest level. Yesterday I just couldn’t [do] that. I wasn’t strong enough this time around & that’s ok. Not being able to be at my little cousin’s funeral plagued my mind, as I was feeling so much guilt that it messed with my sleep on top of dealing with jet lag, and so I simply did not trust myself enough to go out there & compete under the mental state I was in. Also physically, my body was not responding so I made the hard decision not to run being that the World Championship Trials is next week. We go through so much pressure to show up and compete at our best every step that sometimes we forget to prioritze our mental health or to simply just listen to our bodies.
ALWAYS make sure that you take care of you.”
Without a challenge from McLeod, seasoned American hurdler Devon Allen sprinted to a comfortable 13.22-second win ahead of Spain’s Asier Martínez (13.30s) and Brazilian Rafael Pereira (13.37s), who claimed second and third respectively.
With the slow finish, Allen did not threaten his world-leading time of 12.84s, which he ran on Sunday in New York.