IRVINE, CA — Olympic champion Omar McLeod will open his 2021 outdoor campaign when he lines up in the men’s 110m hurdles at the ‘Track Meet’ – World Athletics Continental Tour – Bronze level meeting in Irvine, Calif., on Saturday.
McLeod, who will be hoping to defend his Olympic crown from Rio 2016 at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Games later this summer, delayed his outdoor appearance for 2021 to work on a few things in training.
The Jamaican raced twice over the barriers during the indoor campaign and was satisfied with his two outdoor meetings.
On Saturday, McLeod will take on a strong field that also includes American 2019 champion Daniel Roberts.
Roberts steps into Saturday’s race seeking to build on his previous two performances at the Miramar Invitational and the Drake Relays events last month. The USA hurdler has been unable to find consistent wind readings in his four outdoor races this season, with his performances either being pushed by helpful wind speed or hammered by a headwind.
World record holder Aries Merritt will also feature in the race at the ‘Track Meet’ after opening his season on April 3 with a windy 13.98 (3.8 m/s) performance in Chula Vista, Calif.
Merritt holds the world record at 12.80 seconds and set the mark back in Brussels, Belgium in 2012.
Also lining up in the men’s 110m hurdles at the meeting on Saturday will be Americans Devon Allen, Jarret Eaton, and Aaron Mallet, as well as Milan Trajkovic of Cyprus and Canadian Johnathan Cabral.
In the women’s 100m hurdles Olympic bronze medalist Kristi Castlin of USA will make her second appearance this season in the event and she will battle against the likes of Brittany Anderson of Jamaica and American 2018 World Junior champion Tia Jones.
Astrid Nyame and Christie Moerman of Canada, and Pedrya Seymore from The Bahamas are also slated to race in the event this weekend.
Among the starters for the women’s 400m hurdles are Rhonda Whyte and Leah Nugent of Jamaica, and their Caribbean neighbors Sparkle McKnight from Trinidad and Tobago and Tia-Adana Belle of Barbados.