Track & Field

The JTG Finish Line: With Omar McLeod

We caught up with sprint hurdles sensation Omar McLeod who tops the list of entrants for the 110m hurdles in Beijing. McLeod is having a breakthrough season having posted the fastest 60m hurdles time in the world earlier this year (7.45 seconds), and sits at number two on the 110m hurdles world list with an outstanding 12.97 seconds. The Jamaican champion, McLeod won the NCAA hurdles titles indoor and out this season, breaking the NCAA record in the 60m event.

The best thing about being an athlete is…

The best thing about being an athlete is that your are somewhat forced to be committed, disciplined, and hardworking. You also get the opportunity to inspire other people, which for me is one of the greatest blessings about being an athlete. But most importantly you get to glorify God through the talent he has bestowed upon you.

The worst thing about being an athlete is…

The worst thing about being an athlete would probably be the fact that you are not just an ordinary person. It’s like everything you do or say has to be different from other people. You cannot party as how you’d like to, you have to be careful of what you put into your body, you basically have to be on your guard about everything at all times. Always have to be smart!

My best friend in track & field is…

I don’t necessarily have a best friend in track and field, but I do have great friends who I think are very supportive of me and what I do.Omar McLeod

When I’m not training or competing I like to…

When I’m not training or competing I like to hang out with my closest friend Clive Pullen, or i’m singing; which is one of my many talents lol. Also i like to talk to my mom, who is my best friend, for hours on the phone, or reading my bible and have some alone time with God, which is probably what I enjoy doing the most.

If I wasn’t an athlete I would be…

If I wasn’t an athlete I would be a business entrepreneur, I am really passionate about that. I am still working towards that as my sport is one of the very few that allows you the opportunity to be flexible, in terms of not solely depending on track as a main source of income but rather have businesses running on the side while I am doing what I enjoy and love.

My favourite place to train/compete is…

My favorite place to train/compete would definitely be back home in Jamaica. Whenever you’re in that environment it’s like you have no other choice but to perform at your best or train hard. I think everything about Jamaica is success and also being dominant at whatever you do. People are highly motivated and exuberant in Jamaica and I am really blessed to be a citizen of that country.

When I stand behind my blocks I’m thinking…

I’m thinking about nothing but the obstacles in front of me that I have to overcome. I really get tunnel visioned instantly and it’s like i am in a different world, absolutely nothing around me is important in that moment.

My dream in goal in track & field is…

My dream and gold is track and field is probably similar to everybody else and that is to be the very best at my specialty. To inspire, to leave a mark, and also something that is really important for me is to give something back.

My biggest rival is…

My biggest Rival is Hansle Parchment. So far he has been the toughest competitor i’ve raced with in my career.

My dream training partner would be…

My dream training partner would have to be Hansle Parchment or David Oliver.


– Keep up with McLeod’s progress in Beijing and beyond by following him on twitter here.

Image courtesy of PhotoRun
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Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell

Gerard O'Donnell is an athlete, physical therapist, and MSc student. He is current national 110m hurdles champion and ranks 3rd & 5th on the Irish all-time list for the sprint hurdles events. He is occasionally referred to as GOD, not due to his initials, but because of his heavenly beard, which he has sported since the age of 5.

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