Jamaican sprinter Omar McLeod strode into history after becoming the first Jamaican to win gold in the 110m hurdles at Olympics.
The 22-year-old extended Jamaica’s dominance in the sprint events, after an almost flawless performance which earned him a 13.05 seconds finish at the Olympic Stadium in Rio.
McLeod, who was the favourite after an outstanding season, delivered in style and secured Jamaica’s third gold of these Olympic Games and its fifth overall. He joins 100m champions Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson as Olympic champions.
With gold being the main target, McLeod finished the race ahead of rival Orlando Ortega’s 13.17, who finished second. Dimitri Bascou finished third in 13.24 and Pascal Martinot-Lagarde came in fourth in 13.29.
Speaking after his triumph, McLeod said: “You guys know my journey. It’s been an up and down year; I had a mishap, but I never dwelt on it. It was a kind of a humbling experience — not that I am a cocky person; humbling to the fact that I came to the realisation that things happen in the sport”.
“You are never guaranteed a perfect career and you have your downs, and it was just a test of character and I bounced back well as if it never happened,” the new champion continued.
British hopefuls Andrew Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke both failed to reach the final, with Pozzi describing his performance as “abysmal” after struggling in his semi-final, with13.67 before being disqualified.
The 24-year-old said, “Straight from the blocks I started hammering the first couple of hurdles. I can’t put my finger on why, I just felt out of sorts. It’s terrible viewing and I can only apologise”.
Clarke, 26, finished sixth in his semi-final in 13.46 and said he would “probably have to get a proper job now”.