‘I’M DEVASTATED’: Hurdles champ distressed over Olympics shift

Omar McLeod

Jamaica’s Olympic Games 110m hurdles defending champion Omar McLeod could not hide his disappointment after learning of the postponement of the event due to the pandemic coronavirus.

“I am devastated and truly feel for all us athletes who have been working tirelessly to accomplish our goals we’ve set for this year. One of those common goals is obviously the Olympic Games,” said McLeod.

“I do understand though that our health comes first and we cannot be naive into thinking that this coronavirus pandemic isn’t something serious,” he added. “So personally I do believe that postponing the Games to 2021 is the best solution for all athletes. We just have to stay motivated and keep aspiring. God bless and wash your hands.”

The former Manchester High and Kingston College standout won the 110 hurdles in 13.05 seconds and became Jamaica’s first male Olympic champion in the event.

The talented athlete, who is Jamaica’s national record holder with 12.90 set in 2017, has won every major event on the calendar. He was NCAA Indoor champion in 2014 and the NCAA Outdoor champion in 2015. Then, after he turned professional, he won the 2016 Olympic Games and followed that up with triumph at the 2017 World Championships in London.