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Historic 2017 for Sportsman nominee McLeod

Published:Sunday | January 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Positioned once more as a nominee for the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year Award, 110m hurdler Omar McLeod was Jamaica's only individual winner at the IAAF World Championships in London. That was the pinnacle of a peerless 2017 campaign. Favoured there since his first race of the season, McLeod continued to make Jamaican track and field history.

Now, the first from his country to win the World 110m hurdles title, McLeod began his season with a fast 13.04 seconds clocking in April on a wet and chilly day at the well known Drake Relays held in Iowa. He seized the Jamaican record with a fine run of 12.90 seconds at the National Championships in June to become the joint fifth fastest hurdler of all time.

McLeod said, "PR (personal record), national record, 12.90, fifth fastest man in history, I have just been told, so I am just excited about what is to come."

He also produced times of 12.96 and 13.01 in a season where no else could cross 13.

The champion won in London in 13.04 seconds. "This one is special, honestly," he told the British journal ATHLETICS WEEKLY. "There was a lot of pressure coming in but I channelled it positively", he reflected.

In all, he won six of his seven 110m hurdles races. In a 2017 campaign that was filled with quality, the Manchester native sprinted to noteworthy times for the indoor 60m - 6.61 seconds - and the 200m - a Jamaican record of 20.48 seconds. His single 60m hurdle race had the same gilt edged feel. His solid victory at the renowned Millrose Games in New York was accomplished in 7.49 seconds, the second best time of the year.