DES MOINES, Iowa, Sporting Alert – World Indoor champion Omar McLeod continued his impressive form this season after he opened his hurdling campaign outdoors with a world-leading performance in the 110m hurdles at the Drake Relays in Iowa, on Saturday.
The Jamaican blasted his way to a 2016 best time of 13.08 seconds, despite the wet and cold conditions and running into a slight headwind in Des Moines.
He dominated a very strong field that had also included American world record holder Aries Merritt and 2013 IAAF World Championships champion David Oliver (USA).
McLeod recently became the only man to break 13-seconds for the 110m hurdles and run sub-10 seconds (9.99secs) for the 100m open, and the Portland 2016 champion showed just how much leg speed he has after pulling away from his rivals midway through the contest.
USA’s Oliver clocked 13.31 secs for second place with London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Hansel Parchment of Jamaica getting third in 13.42.
Reigning Olympic champion and world record-holder Merritt, back after a kidney transplant in September, finished fifth in 13.61 after he hit a hurdle in the second half of the race.
Meanwhile, the women’s event went to American world-leader Kendra Harrison, who posted an impressive time of 12.56 secs in the wet and chilly weather.
Harrison streaked home ahead of countrywoman Kristi Castlin, 12.62 and Brianna Rollins, who ran 12.65.
In earlier action at Drake Relays on Friday night, Olympic champion Kirani James clocked a world-leading time of 44.08 secs to edge out close rival LaShawn Merritt, who revealed that he struggled to cope with the cold conditions before and during the race.
James, who improved his own world 2016 best time of 44.36, also bettered his own previous meet record, which was set at last year’s meet.
Merritt ran home second in 44.22 with Bralon Taplin of Grenada taking third in 44.92.
Clayton Murphy of USA defeated countryman and world indoor champion Boris Berian, 1:46.71 to 1:47.29, after finishing with a late kick.
Results From the 2016 Drake Relays – Follow This Link