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.
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has set out a number of questions it will be seeking answers to fromMinister David Patterson and members of the media during a tour of the D’urban ParkGovernment when the 36th sitting of the National Assembly reconvenes next Wednesday.Among them is the reason why Government did not use the Guyana National Stadium for hosting the nation’s 50th Independence anniversary celebration.Party Chief Whip Gail Teixeira said Government’s use of the National Stadium could have saved the country the billions of dollars it is now pumping into building a new structure to host the event next month.“The National Stadium can seat 16,000 people and 5000 on the mound and in the field itself, can hold another 20,000. It has all the parking facilities, washroom, etc. It has first aid medical facilities, water etc… so our question is why was that not considered, especially that it would have saved the country money.Teixeira said there still remains a number of unanswered questions, including the procurement of services, donors and contractors. She said the Party will also be raising concerns about what it said is the alleged defective and substandard ongoing works at the D’Urban Park facility.The multimillion-dollar D’Urban Park facility is currently under construction and Government hopes that this could be completed the latest May 17.The project was recently reassigned to the Public Infrastructure Ministry to ensure a faster pace to completion. Along with that reassignment, Government also pumped another $150 million towards the project. The motion on the D’Urban Park facility was tabled by the Sectoral Member of Parliament (MP) on Infrastructure Juan Edghill.Listed too for answers, Teixeira said is the question on the solicitation of some $80 million as donations. The Chief Whip said her Party wishes to know where the money has come from, and where it has been put. This, she said, is in accordance with the financial laws.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has also tabled two sets of questions on notice to the Minister with regards to the 34 honorific advisors. He will be seeking answers on who these advisors are, their qualifications etc, their jobs and salaries. Her Party has also presented two other motions. One is on the shortage of medical supplies and the other surrounds the issue that young MP’s are concerned about – the motion on curbing the rise of suicide rates in Guyana.She said the PPP already submitted a motion to the Speaker in January calling for a debate on the status of the rice industry. That motion, she reminded, was rejected on the grounds that Government was not officially concerned with the rice industry by the Speaker.“We had resubmitted that motion stating and showing that the official gazette assigned the responsibility, through the Ministry of Agriculture that one of its responsibilities is to the rice industry and so we are calling again for that… calling again for its resubmission.”The Party will also again be requesting that the speaker call on Natural Resources Minister Rapahel Trotman to apologise for the misinformation he gave about the previous Government giving away productive forests.