Jamaican sporting fans are in shock after reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion, Omar McLeod, failed to qualify for the national team.
McLeod crashed out in the finals at the National Senior Championships, which was held at the National Stadium on Sunday (June 27).
After hitting several hurdles in the final qualifying event, McLeod finished last among the eight entrants in 16.22 seconds.
McLeod explains what he says happened
Following his performance, McLeod took to Twitter to explain his performance which stunned many as he entered the weekend as the fastest hurdler this season and qualified with an impressive time of 13.04 seconds.
McLeod partially blamed a change in the schedule, which he said gave him only 4 hours to sleep adding that he woke up with “severe cramps”.
“Typically at our championships, we always run semis and finals on the same day, but without any logical consideration for the athletes, we found out on arrival that the schedule had changed last minute,where they pushed the finals to 8 am in the morning, ” began McLeod as he sought to explain the reason behind his poor performance.
McLeod said the time change set in motion a chain of events that ultimately led to the disaster on the track.
According to McLeod, difficulty falling asleep which he attributed to adrenaline caused him only to get four hours rest.
“They made the final call to the room and just like that, it was race time! I walked out on to the track put on my spikes on and bomb, the worst thing all of us athletes dred so bad begun to happen. I started having severe cramps in my adductor and calves, ” explained McLeod.
“I started setting my blocks and my calves started cramping really bad again and in that moment, I seriously did not know what do and i started panicking … I saw the doctor after the race and he told me that my cramps were due to fatigue and also agreed that coming back that early for a final was not ideal, ” he added.
Given that only the top three finishers at the National Senior Championships qualify to take part in Tokyo, McLeod will not have chance to defend his Olympic title.