Omar McLeod wins the 110m hurdles at the Jamaican Championships (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Des Moines, USA

McLeod clocks 13.04 world lead at Drake Relays

Omar McLeod sped to a world-leading 13.04 in the 110m hurdles to highlight the 108th Drake Relays which concluded in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday (29).

It was an impressive performance by the Olympic champion, who fought through cold and rainy conditions en route to his fastest season's debut.

Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain, the European indoor 60m hurdles champion, was second in 13.24, the second-fastest performance of his career.

World record-holder Kendra Harrison won the women's sprint hurdles in equally dominant fashion, clocking 12.56, well clear of runner-up Jasmin Stowers, who clocked 12.76.

Harrison’s mark was also a world lead, as was Georganne Moline’s 54.66 victory in the 400m hurdles. 

In Friday night's action, Olympic 1500m silver medallist Jenny Simpson, making in her 2017 debut appearance, won her specialty for the fifth straight year. Pulling away gradually from a tight pack over the final lap, the 2011 world champion sprinted to the win in 4:16.10, just ahead of Brenda Martinez and Kate Grace, who clocked 4:16.40 and 4:16.62 respectively.

In other 'Rio Rematch' events on the programme, five days after anchoring a USA quartet to victory at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017, LaShawn Merritt cruised to a 45.41 win in the 400m, comfortably ahead of Vernon Norwood who clocked 45.68. Kirani James, the 2012 Olympic champion, was a distant sixth in 46.21.

Clayton Murphy, the Olympic 800m bronze medallist who anchored the US to the 4x800m title at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017 last weekend, out-kicked John Gregorek to win the 1500m by 0.09 in 3:41.75.

The infield highlights came in the pole vault.

Sam Kendricks won the men’s event on Saturday topping 5.80m with his second attempt. Sandi Morris won the women’s event on Friday, producing a clean slate through 4.72m to equal her season's best before bowing out with three misses at a would-be world lead of 4.86m.

The pair also won the Capital Square Vault indoor event on Thursday, Morris at the same height and Kendricks at 5.70m.

Two-time world and Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor reached 16.93m in the second round to win his event. Canada’s Derek Drouin took the high jump at 2.30m, bowing out with three tries at 2.32m. Levern Spencer of St Lucia won the women's high jump with 1.91m and Dani Bunch, the current world leader, won the women's shot put with 18.55m.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF