KINGSTON (Reuters) - Omar McLeod remains on course to become the first Jamaican to win Olympic 110 meters hurdles gold after the world indoor champion recovered from a sluggish start to retain his national title in a time of 13.01 on Saturday.
McLeod, who posted a world-leading 12.98 in May, took control of the final from the sixth hurdle and pulled away from Deuce Carter (13.21) in second.
“This time is really acceptable, knowing where I am in my training, because I just came out to make the team. No pressure, not thinking about any time,” McLeod told Reuters.
Hansle Parchment, bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, did not compete and has submitted a medical exemption. His agent, Juliet Campbell, said the world number two was nursing a hamstring injury.
Mcleod, who finished sixth at the World Championships in Beijing last year after an exhausting college schedule, said the buildup to the Rio Games would be less challenging.
“Last year it took a huge toll on my body. I remember at Beijing I was begging my legs for something literally and now we’re a lot smarter,” he added.
”We haven’t raced a lot, just competitive races that will get me sharp and not racing week after week and we are sticking to the plan.
“Everything is looking good as I move toward the Olympics,” he said, adding that he had two races planned ahead of the Games, which begin on Aug. 5.
Yohan Blake and Elaine Thompson, the men’s and women’s 100m champions, looked impressive in securing berths in Sunday’s 200m final.
Olympic silver medalist Blake eased up with 20m to go but still posted a season’s best 20.29, while Thompson cruised to her semi-final win in 23.37.
Editing by Peter Rutherford