Photo: Omar McLeod clears the final hurdle on his waiting to winning his second consecutive national title and sealing his spot on the Jamaican team to the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Deuce Carter who is clearing the final hurdle finished second.
Both are young, both had outstanding junior careers, both represented the Manchester High school at the ISSA Boys and Girls Champs, but there is also the fact that both Natoya Goule and Omar McLeod are living their dreams and striving to bring joy to the nation.
Goule ran a commanding race on Saturday at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Athletics Championships to defend her 800m title and in the process confirmed her ticket to her first Olympic Games in Brazil. She won the race in a time 2:00.23 seconds, beating National record holder Kenia Sinclair (2:01.11) and World Championship representative Simoya Campbell (2:02.85).
For the 2015 NCCA Indoor champion it wasn’t so much the time that she ran, it was more the chance to do well for the people she loves that brought joy to her on the night.
“I am happy I won, but it wasn't necessarily the time that I expected. But I am happy to win another national title and be on the team to Rio.” she explained.
Sinclair who will be heading to her third consecutive Olympic Games, was grateful to be able to perform despite her challenges leading up to the meet.
She told reporters after the race that her struggles with an injured hamstring over the last three weeks hampered her a bit but she was able to fight through and still finish the championships.
“I’m not tired. I'm well-rested because I've always been battling with injuries. But I came out here today and my main goal was just to make this Olympic team. It's been a hard three weeks with this hamstring, but I didn't want any excuse."
Jowayne Hibbert won the Men’s 800m in1:47.59 minutes, ahead of Sadiki White (1:47.66), and Strymar Livingston (1:47.93). All three athletes failed to dip below the 1:46.00 Olympic qualifying standard.
McLeod, the reigning World Indoor 60m champion, was silky smooth in dispatching the field to win the Men’s 110m Hurdles final in a fast 13.01 seconds with a trailing win of wind of 0.4m/s. The runner up spots went to Deuce Carter (13.21) and Andrew Riley (13.49s) hanging in for third spot. Riley was unable to dip below the Olympic standard of 13.47 seconds.
McLeod who closed strongly revealed that he and his coach have been working on the last half of his race and it is paying dividends.
"We are working on the last part of the race," he said. "It's coming along and I am very impressed with how I am finishing. I am feeling really strong coming off the sixth hurdle so we just need to go back to the drawing board and work on the start. When we put the two parts together, greatness awaits."
The other highlights on day three came via Demar Forbes who defended his National men's long jump title and secured a pass to Rio with a season’s best effort of 8.16 metres.
World Championship finalist Fedrick Dacres won the men's discus final with a mark of 62.72m. He finished ahead of Chad Wright, 61.83m and Travis Smikle was third with 61.72m.
Christoff Bryan once again reigned supreme in the Men’s High Jump, with a his personal best equalling height of 2.25m. He narrowly missed out on the qualifying standard of 2.29m.
The hammer throw went to the new Olympic qualifier Dania Levy who won with 64.18m, while Cannigga Raynor took the Men’s equivalent with a new national record of 70.91m, but still falling short of the 77m required for Olympic representation.