Omar McLeod, the 2016 Olympic champion, threw down the gauntlet to 2019 world champion Grant Holloway with a world-leading and meet record 13.01 to win the 110m hurdles at the Diamond League meeting in Florence, Italy today (June 10). The time betters the 13.08, then the second fastest time in the world, that he ran to win in Hengelo, Netherlands, four days ago.
Today’s time was also his fastest time since the 13.07 he ran in Berlin in September 2019 and confirms his intentions to defend his Olympic title in Tokyo this summer. The time also eclipses Holloway’s 13.07, the previous world-leading time done in April.
“It feels good to be winning again. I am having fun again. It was a really good race. I put together a technically sound race. I did not hit a hurdle. The weather is a bit shaky but we have to put up with this,” said the elated Jamaican afterwards.
“The time is close enough to 13 seconds and I will get under 13 seconds when the time is right. Now I had two solid races back to back and I am getting better with every race. It is good to get opportunities to race again.”
Second in today’s race was Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi, who clocked a season best 13.25. Frenchman Wilhem Belocian was third in 13.31, also a season’s best.
Shane Brathwaite of Barbados was fifth in 13.46.
Earlier, Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn continued to declare that she will be hard to beat this season, when she clocked a meet record 12.38 to win the 100m hurdles. She is the only woman to run faster this year with her world-leading 12.32.
Naturally, she was pleased.
“Actually, I did much better than I thought I would. I was really nervous at the start, so all I could think when I was in the blocks was to have a good start, push really hard, and be good to go,” the 2018 NCAA Champion said afterwards.
“There was no point of getting worked up, and I’m really excited I got to this point – it’s a really good system for my next races. Of course, I want to run faster, but I just take it as it comes – I’ve been very consistent with my races, so I’m really excited, and not rushing at all.”
For Camacho-Quinn, the Olympics can’t some fast enough.
“I’m looking forward to the Olympics this year – it will be like redemption from my fall in 2016 – I’m really excited, training really hard, work really hard, but really looking forward to it,” she said.
Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas, in her first-ever Diamond League race, was a distant second in 12.80 while Elvira Herman of Belarus ran a season-best 12.85 for third.
She wasn’t particularly happy with her run.
“I would have liked to have a better time,” she said.
“I think I am doing quite well at the moment. I thought it would be faster. But I am happy about my place, this is my very first DL meeting ever. My first part of the race was good, but then I lost my form and I hit the last hurdle. I will fly to Eugene to see my coach and analyze the race and then I go home for our national trials in two weeks.”
Jamaica’s Megan Tapper was fourth in 12.94.
Reigning world champion Dina Asher-Smith seems on pace to win her first individual Olympic medal this summer with another commanding performance over 200m that she won in a fast 22.06, the second fastest time in the world this year and a new meet record.
She won by more than 0.50s over Marie Josee Ta Lou from the Ivory Coast who ran a season-best 22.58 for second place. Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji ran a season-best 22.60 for third.
South Africa’s Akani Simbini won the 100m in 10.08 over CJ Ujah 10.10. Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi ran 10.16 for third.