Omar McLeod training in Florida with Justin Gatlin, Steven Gardiner

By November 23, 2018

After word surfaced earlier this year that Omar McLeod, the 2016 Olympic 110m hurdles champion had parted company with Coach Eldrick Floreal, can now confirm that the Jamaican hurdles star is currently based in Florida training under the guidance of Coach Gary Evans.

He has joined the camp that also has World 100m champion Justin Gatlin and Bahamian 400m star Steven Gardiner as members.

This past summer McLeod, the 2017 World Champion, reportedly left Floreal’s training group. Neither coach nor athlete spoke publicly about the move and efforts to get the celebrated head coach to comment proved to be unsuccessful.

In early July, Floreal, who coached at the University of Kentucky for 12 years, accepted the position of head coach at the University of Texas. In his introductory press briefing as the new Texas head coach, Floreal revealed that some members of the training group from Kentucky would be joining him there.

Mere weeks later word emerged about McLeod and rising American star Sydney McLaughlin had left the group. No reason was given for their departure.

However, videos have since emerged on social media showing McLeod in training with Bahamian 400m star Steven Gardiner and reigning 100m world champion Justin Gatlin in Florida.

McLeod had joined Floreal training group in Kentucky in late 2016, leaving behind Coach Doug Case, who had helped him develop into the best sprint hurdler in the world. In Kentucky, McLeod trained with 100m hurdles world record holder Kendra Harrison and went on to win the 2017 World title in London.

McLeod missed out on the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham and the Commonwealth Games earlier this year when he shut his season down early because of injury.


Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    The 25-year-old had trained with Eldrick Floreal up until late 2018 but then moved to Gary Evans at Empire Athletics in Florida.  Tony Ross at World Fastest Humans was his hurdles coach.  The athlete has since struggled, however.  Before claiming the top spot in Birmingham on Sunday, McLeod won only two hurdles races and has a season-best time of 13.12s set at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China.

    The athlete is, however, rumored to have joined the Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month and seems to be in a better frame of mind.  On Sunday, at the Birmingham Diamond League meet, McLeod clocked 13.21, well clear of the United States’ Freddie Crittenden (13.31) and Xie Wenjun (13.43).  Following the win, the athlete admitted, the target was getting in shape for the World Championships.

    “It was pretty easy and felt good. It was nice to make up for what happened in London. I'm in a new environment with a new coach and I feel like I'm ready to go again,” McLeod said.

    “For Doha, I need to go there in the best possible shape and not been half-bothered about it. Anything can happen and I need to go there as defending champion and be ready to compete,” he added.
    “I have the Diamond League finals prior to Doha so I need to be ready for that.”

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