GREAT SHAPE MONTE CARLO, Monaco: Olympic champion Omar McLeod described his gold-medal run at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as technically his worst, but he underlined that with Olympic gold now fixed around his neck, his ambition has turned to breaking the 110 metres hurdles world record. McLeod capped a dominant year in the event with a 13.05 seconds run in a soaked Olympic Games final in Rio de Janeiro but noted that in that race, his focus was simply to cross the line in front and win his and Jamaica’s first Olympic gold medal in the event. “Technically, the Rio final was my worst race of the season. I didn’t get out; I was just preserving, holding back,” McLeod said. “I wanted to be an Olympic champion first. I didn’t want to overdo it. I had nothing to prove. I knew all I needed to do was stay in my comfort zone and hurdle, and once I got over the barriers, I would be a clear winner. “When I was at the Olympics, I told myself that all I needed to do was hurdle, not to try anything spectacular, just hurdle and be an Olympic champion first, and then I have all my career to break the world record,” added McLeod. McLeod, earlier in the year also won gold in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships, which he said helped his confidence going into the rest of the year. “It’s definitely an ambition. It’s every athlete’s goal to be the best at what they do, to break a world record to go in the history books, and I am no different. I think I was in great shape to do it this year, but, in this sport, you have to set your priorities straight,” said McLeod. “I have the speed, but it tends to get the better of me at times, such as when I had the two falls before the Olympics, but it goes to show that I was in great shape and ready to run fast, but I had to make an adjustment. “Being an Olympic champion – it’s an amazing feeling. That’s the pinnacle of all sport,” McLeod continued. “Just to be an Olympian is a big deal, so to be an Olympic champion, it’s even a bigger deal, and never in a million years did I think I would achieve that so early. I remember it like yesterday. It’s an indescribable feeling. It’s awesome to be honest.” McLeod, who is switching his technique to a seven-step approach, added that his win indoors came as a surprise and went some distance towards helping towards his Rio success. “I was really impressed that I actually won. I didn’t go there with that expectancy. I am not doubting myself, but there were experienced people there who also medalled already in the event, so I was just going there to have fun and it led to a gold medal, so I was really grateful,” McLeod said.
Stakeholders in livestock production in Liberia have expressed need for a policy that will enhance livestock development in the country.The stakeholders raised the concern Thursday, May 15, at a one-day consultative meeting held at the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and was convened by the international non-governmental organization, BRAC-Liberia.Stakeholders attending the meeting included officials of the MoA and those from the private sector, who had gathered to review and and obtain inputs from the National Livestock Policy of Liberia.In his presentation, Prof. M. Golam Shahi Alam, international consultant at BRAC-Liberia, said the sector can contribute immensely to food security, economic growth and wealth creation in the country, provided there is a regulation to guide the sector.According to him, animal health and veterinary services play significant roles in the sector and, as such, there is a need to implement the policy in line with Office International des Epizooties (OIE) and World Trade Organization (WTO).The World Organization (formerly the Office International des Epizooties (OIE)) is the world organization for animal health.Alam, who is a professor at the Bangladesh University of Agriculture, said the Veterinary Public Health section (VPH) needs to ensure food safety, control of zoonotic disease, meat inspection and abattoir management, which he said is very poor in Liberia.He, however, indicated that the limited VPH division/section in the Bureau of National Livestock (BNL) lacks manpower as well as funding and laboratory facilities.“No legal framework to implement the mandate imposed,” he noted.The Bangladesh professor explained that VPH needs to participate in the process to regionalized disease control for increasing international market access and ensuring human health safety.He asserted that Liberia has laws and regulation to cover a few areas, but the regulatory framework and implementation is still weak.However, prof. Alam said the institutions (BNL/MOA) are responsible for drafting and implementing laws and regulations in the sector.At the same time, Prof. Alam said marketing of livestock products needs to be regulated, especially on the importations of the product, which according to him has bad impact on local producers as well as subsidy on animal feeds, vaccine, drugs and other things.For his part, Joseph Anderson, Director of Animal Health Services acknowledged BRAC-Liberia for briefing them on the issues and hoped that they will come up with a policy to regulate the sector.Director Anderson told participants that MOA has a Veterinary Department, but nobody is interested in the profession.He said regulating the sector will guide the protection of livestock, farmers and investors, and equally address food security.Mr. Anderson also urged participants to provide their inputs as they are establishing a national document for them.Participants at the one-day stakeholders meeting thanked MOA and BRAC for such an initiative.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)