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Omar McLeod wins gold in 110m hurdles as U.S. shut out of medal

RIO DE JANEIRO -- University of Oregon multisport star Devon Allen finished fifth in the men's 110-meter hurdles final Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro in the first time the Americans have been shut out of a medal in the event.

Omar McLeod, the world indoor champion, converted his season dominance of the 110m hurdles into an Olympic gold medal, a first for Jamaica in the event.

Add the hurdles to the growing list of things the tiny Caribbean Island is dominating. McLeod said he fed off the medal-winning performances of Usain Bolt in the men's 100 and Elaine Thompson (gold) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (bronze) in the women's 100.

"You see them go out and represent themselves and represent their country, have fun -- and they win. They harness medals,'' McLeod said. "You want to do the same thing. It's contagious. You want to feel how it feels. I felt how it feels."

Could McLeod turn into the Bolt of the hurdles?

"We'll see,'' he said. "The feeling is indescribable. I don't know what's going through my mind right now. I need to go back and just recite it a couple times, saying, 'You're an Olympic champion.'"

McLeod, who was a track standout at the University of Arkansas before turning pro, gained the lead quickly and pulled away as he won in 13.05 seconds.

Cuban-born Orlando Ortega of Spain took silver in 13.17 seconds, and Dimitri Bascou of France won bronze in 13.24. Ortega gave Spain its first medal in track and field since 2004.

"I was just thinking, 'Come on. Go. Go finish,''' Ortega said. "I see the [big screen] TV and see my second place. I can't believe this moment.''

Allen said he didn't run the technical race he'd hoped for but was proud of a top-five finish.

"For it being my first international competition, as well as my first Olympics, I think I did well," he said. "In hurdles, there are barriers, and they're in the way, and it's about maneuvering and managing those barriers, and my body position wasn't as great as I would have wanted it to be, and that's why I wasn't as fast."

The Ducks wide receiver said he plans to "wind down" and enjoy the last few days in Rio with his family before he joins his Oregon football teammates on the practice field.

"I'll probably be the best-shaped athlete on the field right now," Allen said with a laugh.

Allen had nine catches for 94 yards last season for the Ducks as he eased back into action after tearing a ligament in his right knee during the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015. He said it won't take him long to get up to speed on the football field, and he's already at his playing weight of 185 pounds (84 kilograms). Still, rest might be a good thing.

"Jumping back in, it could work,'' Allen said. "But maybe resting will make for a better athlete in the long run. Eventually, I'll get back in there."

During the U.S. Olympic track trials, Allen's high school track coach, Tim O'Neil, said the 21-year-old has the potential to break the world record of 12.80 seconds.

Asked about O'Neil's claim following his fifth-place finish Tuesday, Allen said the record is still in sight.

"I think that's something I am going to be doing in the next couple years," he said. "This is my fifth year hurdling, and you see a lot of guys -- it takes technique to hurdle, and that takes time. The world record gets broken at later ages.

"Aries Merritt was 27, and Liu Xiang was a little older. It takes time, and I got nothing but time."

There were quite a few tumbles and falls in the hurdles Tuesday. Haiti's Jeffrey Julmis smacked into the first hurdle in his semifinal heat, tumbled over it and took the hurdle right along with him. Then he got back up and finished to a roar from the crowd.

"It didn't make sense to go down as a sore loser," Julmis said. "The Olympic spirit -- finish the race."

Information from ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk and The Associated Press was used in this report.