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Russian runner Shubenkov hopes to turn tables on Jamaica’s McLeod next year

August 08, 4:16 UTC+3 LONDON

Sergey Shubenkov, who is taking part in the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London as a neutral athlete, won silver on Monday in men’s 110 meters hurdles

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Sergey Shubenkov (left) and Omar McLeod

Sergey Shubenkov (left) and Omar McLeod

© EPA/IAN LANGSDON

LONDON, August 8. /TASS/. Russian runner Sergey Shubenkov said he hoped to turn the tables on Jamaican athlete Omar McLeod, who won the 2017 IAAF World Championships on Monday in men’s 110-meter hurdles.

Shubenkov, who is taking part in the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London as a neutral athlete, won silver on Monday in men’s 110 meters hurdles. Shubenkov, the gold medalist in this discipline at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, is the first among the 19 Russian athletes cleared for the tournament as neutral to win a medal.

"It was not as it usually is as I was in the lead the first part of the distance," Shubenkov told journalists. "I cannot understand what has happened but usually I am slow at the start and then catching up, however, is was vice versa today as I broke away at the start and then Omar gained the distance."

Shubenkov finished second, with a result of 13.14 seconds, after Omar McLeod of Jamaica (13.04). The bronze medal went to Balazs Baji of Hungary (13.28).

"The final time is untypical for me, the competition was difficult, the runs were for two days, but it is all over now and I believe it all ended with a positive result," he said. "I feel positively, but to be honest I feel a little bit of a disappointment as I was aiming for the gold."

"I wanted to defend my (world champion’s) title, but this is my fourth World Championship, I was winning medals at all of them and I have the full set - the bronze, silver and gold," Shubenkov said. "Two golds would have been definitely better and I hope that I will have the chance to win back."

"In any way I have to defeat McLeod at least once," he said. "Today I clashed with him with all my might, but still cannot defeat him," Shubenkov added.

Shubenkov, 26, is the bronze medalist of the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, and a two-time medalist of European championships in 2012 and in 2014. He holds Russia’s record of 12.98 seconds.

He skipped the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended membership of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) in November 2015 over a series of doping scandals in Russian track and field athletics. In April 2017, he was cleared by the IAAF for international competitions as a neutral athlete.

Nineteen Russian track and field athletes have been cleared to take part in the 2017 IAAF World Championships, held in London between August 4 and 13. However, they are performing as neutral athletes as the RusAF remains suspended. Russian track-and-field athletes are banned from wearing gear of the national team or wear any apparel symbolizing the Russian flag at competitions.

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