Omar McLeod said is goal “is to run hard and just to stay with these guys for as long as I can” in Friday’s Diamond League Series opener in Doha, Qatar.
The World and Olympic 110m hurdles champion has a personal best of 20.49s, but admitted that run wasn’t easy.
“I didn’t really know what to do in the 200. Coach told me to run the first 150 metres in 14 (seconds) and I gave him the first 150 in 14. But then that last 50 – it hurt, it burned. I didn’t expect that,” he said of his 200m race on March 29 in Florida.
“That was coach’s way of breaking down the race for me. So I could say I’m a little bit more comfortable about sprinting, I’m learning.”
World champion Ramil Guliyev, Commonwealth champion Jereem Richards, Olympic medalist Andre de Grasse and Diamond League winner Noah Lyles are the big names in the field.
“I’m really new to the event and I’m going up against guys I have a lot of respect for. I’m a student of the sport, I love sprinting. So I’m going out there to learn and to feed off these guys and drop my times.”
McLeod, the first athlete to run sub-13 in the 110m hurdles and sub-10 in the 100m, now eyes “sub-20 obviously is the goal in the 200.”