No hurdle for McLeod as he wins historic gold for Jamaica

Jamaica's Omar McLeod on his way to winning gold in the men's 110m hurdles on Tuesday. The 22-year-old came into the race as a strong favourite and produced a stirring performance to win in a time of 13.05 seconds.
Jamaica's Omar McLeod on his way to winning gold in the men's 110m hurdles on Tuesday. The 22-year-old came into the race as a strong favourite and produced a stirring performance to win in a time of 13.05 seconds.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

RIO DE JANEIRO • Jamaica, Kenya, Canada and the United States added to their athletics medal tallies in the 110-metre hurdles, women's 1,500m and men's high jump and triple jump on Tuesday, while Russia's sole track and field competitor survived to compete another day at Rio.

The events were, however, overshadowed by announcers urging rowdy Brazilian fans to restrain themselves after provoking French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie with a chorus of boos the night before.

Russian competitors in particular have faced hostile crowds at Rio stadiums as the result of a doping scandal that has shaded the Games.

Long jumper Darya Klishina, the sole athlete from her country competing in track and field after the rest of the team were banned, escaped their wrath, but that was probably more a result of her slipping in unannounced and unnoticed rather than an overnight change of attitude.

After earning a spot in today's final with a leap of 6.64m, Klishina said she missed having team-mates.

"It is very hard being the only Russian," she said. "Unfortunately, I am here alone and this is a big responsibility."

She looked to have missed her chance to compete when the International Association of Athletics Federations suspended her last Saturday, only for the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overrule.

In the hurdles, Jamaica's Omar McLeod finished in a time of 13.05sec to beat Cuban-born Orlando Ortega (13.17) who won silver for Spain, and Frenchman Dimitri Bascou (13.24), who took bronze.

Kenya's Faith Kipyegon bided her time through the slow early stages of the women's 1,500m before setting off on a blazing second half with Genzebe Dibaba but then pulling clear of the Ethiopian.

Kipyegon took gold in 4min 8.92sec, Dibaba came in second in 4:10.27 and Jennifer Simpson of the US took bronze in 4:10.53.

High jumper Derek Drouin earned Canada's third gold medal of the Games, clearing 2.38m to beat Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim (2.36) and Ukraine's Bohdan Bondarenko (2.33).

In the morning session, American Christian Taylor earned a second straight triple-jump gold with a 17.86m leap that is the furthest anyone has jumped this season, sailing 10cm longer than team-mate Will Claye. China's Dong Bin was third (17.58).

But the 25-year-old silver medallist then leaped into the stands where he proposed to former Olympian Queen Harrison, who burst into tears and accepted.

"When I woke up I was like, today is going to be the best day of my life," Claye told reporters.

"I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do on the track and I'm going to make her my fiancee."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2016, with the headline 'No hurdle for McLeod as he wins historic gold for Jamaica'. Print Edition | Subscribe