McLeod at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships
25 April 1994|
110 meters hurdles|
400 meters hurdles
|College team||University of Arkansas|
|Coached by||Edrick Floreal|
|Achievements and titles|
100 m: 9.99 (2016)
Omar McLeod (born 25 April 1994) is a Jamaican hurdler. He is the current 110m hurdle Olympic and World champion. He was NCAA indoor champion in the 60 metres hurdles in 2014 and 2015 and outdoor champion in the 110 metres hurdles in 2015; he turned professional after the 2015 collegiate season, forgoing his two remaining years of collegiate eligibility. His personal best in the 110 metres hurdles (12.90 seconds) ranks him 5th on the world all-time list.
McLeod was a promising high school athlete, running for Manchester High School and later Kingston College; during his early career, he competed in both the 110 m hurdles and the 400 m hurdles. He represented Jamaica at the 2011 World Youth Championships in Lille, qualifying for the finals in both hurdles events; he placed fourth in the 110 m hurdles and eighth in the 400 m hurdles. At the CARIFTA Games he won gold in the under-20 400 m hurdles in three consecutive years (2011, 2012 and 2013); he scored an additional five medals in the 110 m hurdles and the 4 × 400 m relay, including a relay gold in 2013. He also won gold in the relay at the 2012 CAC Junior Championships in San Salvador.
In 2013, his final year in high school, McLeod set Jamaican junior records in both the 110 m hurdles (13.24) and the 400 m hurdles (49.98) at the Boys and Girls Championships; he was the first Jamaican high schooler to break 50 seconds at the longer distance. After graduating from Kingston College he went to the University of Arkansas on a track and field scholarship.
McLeod had no experience running indoors before his move to the United States, but he adapted rapidly; he won the 60 m hurdles as a freshman at the 2014 NCAA indoor championships in Albuquerque, running a personal best 7.57 in the heats and 7.58 in the final. Outdoors, he placed second in the 110 m hurdles at both the Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships and the West Regionals, but pulled a hamstring at the NCAA championships and missed the final.
McLeod returned to competition in 2015; he won the SEC indoor title in a personal best 7.49. At the 2015 NCAA indoor championships he repeated as champion, running 7.55 in the heats and 7.45 in the final; his time in the final was a new Jamaican indoor record, broke Reggie Torian's NCAA record from 1997 and tied with Cuba's Orlando Ortega for the world's fastest time that winter. Outdoors, McLeod set a personal best of 13.21 at the Drake Relays and won at both the SEC meet and the West Regionals. He entered the NCAA outdoor championships in Eugene as the favorite; he won, running 13.08 in the heats and 13.01 in the final, but both times were wind-aided. Only one collegiate athlete, Renaldo Nehemiah in 1979, had run faster in any conditions. In addition to his hurdles victory, McLeod ran on the Arkansas relay teams in both the 4 × 100 m relay and the 4 × 400 m relay; Arkansas won the 4 × 100 m in 38.47 and placed sixth in the longer relay.
After the 2015 collegiate season McLeod turned professional and signed an endorsement deal with Nike, forgoing his two remaining years as an NCAA athlete; although he stayed at Arkansas to complete his business studies, he lost his eligibility to represent the Arkansas Razorbacks.
McLeod won the 110 m hurdles at the 2015 Jamaican Championships, defeating national record holder Hansle Parchment in a wind-legal 12.97 and breaking 13 seconds for the first time; the time was world-leading for a week. He made his debut as a professional at the István Gyulai Memorial in Székesfehérvár on 7 July, but pulled up with a cramp and failed to finish.
Based on his outstanding athletic performance, Mcleod was recently crowned Jamaica's 2017 Sportsman of the Year. During 2017, he won six of seven 110m hurdles races, including the World Championships in London.
- Graham, Raymond (4 August 2013). "McLeod to attend University of Arkansas". The Sunday Gleaner. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Reid, Paul A. (26 June 2015). "Omar McLeod to go pro later this month". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Graham, Raymond. "Jamaicans continue to dominate at Carifta". The Gleaner.
- Omar McLeod at Tilastopaja (registration required)
- "110 Metres Hurdles - men - senior - outdoor - All time best". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "Freshman McLeod creates big impression". The Gleaner. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Minshull, Phil (15 March 2015). "World leads for Bromell, Dendy and McLeod at NCAA Indoor Champs". Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Rorick, Jim. "Collegiate Indoor All-Time List - Men". Track & Field News. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Auka, John (2 June 2015). "NCAA Formchart—Men". Track & Field News. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Maiman, Beth (13 June 2015). "Arkansas Omar McLeod wins two titles behind memory of his aunt". NCAA.com. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Rorick, Jim. "Collegiate Outdoor All-Time List - Men". Track & Field News. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Ekema-Agbaw, Joy (6 July 2015). "McLeod to Represent Nike on the Professional Circuit". Arkansas Razorbacks. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Levy, Leighton (29 June 2015). "Win takes McLeod closer to Beijing goal". The Gleaner. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Reid, Paul A. (8 July 2015). "VCB clocks first sub-11 in Hungary 100m win". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Ramsak, Bob (2016-04-24). Hurdler McLeod makes history as a barrier breaker after 9.99 100m win. IAAF. Retrieved on 2016-04-24.