Doha, Qatar: Reigning world and Olympic champion Omar McLeod suffered a heart-breaking defeat in the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha on Wednesday.
McLeod’s pain was American Grant Holloway’s gain as the US collegiate champion won gold in 13.10.
Neutral athlete Sergey Shubenkov took silver in 13.15 while reigning European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde of France took bronze in 13.18.
McLeod, who was the overwhelming favourite after storming into the final earlier in the evening at 13.08, was in front when he started to lose his rhythm by the eighth hurdle. The Jamaican hit the ninth and even though he cleared the 10th hurdle by that time he had lost his balance completely and fell on to the track.
“I felt my hamstring as I came off the first hurdle so then I was thinking about it and not my technique. It grabbed me again halfway through, but I gave it all,” said McLeod.
“I made a lot of sacrifices to get here I showed up ready and had heart. I am in a new situation with a new coach. I just need to regroup and come back next year,” he added.
Holloway meanwhile kept on running around the track as he celebrated his first major victory.
“I am speechless. It’s my first major championships and a lot of people were counting me out because I’ve been off my game in the last month or so, but when you have motivation you never lose. I kept believing in myself I kept focused and I stayed healthy,” said the 21-year-old.
“I came here to win every round and that’s what I did. When you step on the line no one cares what you’ve done before. It’s all about here and now. I just took it one hurdle and one round at a time and tried to stay calm. I came out here for the final stressfree. At no point in the race was I trying to figure things out,” he said.
Spaniard Orlando Ortega, who had finished first in the third semifinal, was unlucky in the final as he was obstructed by an off-balance McLeod.
Poland’s Pawel Fajdek became the first athlete to win four World Championships gold in hammer throw with an effort of 80.50.
Quentin Bigot of France won silver (78.19m) and Hungary’s Bence Halasz took Bronze (78.20)
Qatari hope Ashraf Amgad El Saify finished ninth with a best effort of 75.41.