Hurdles ‘dark horse’ keen on Olympic slot

Hurdles ‘dark horse’ keen on Olympic slot

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

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Despite running a lifetime best 13.19 seconds and being ranked joint fourth in the world on the IAAF performance list with Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles, Jamaican sprint hurdler Hansle Parchment knows he has his work cut out if he is to break into the Jamaica team to the Olympic Games this year.

The World University champion created one of the biggest upsets on Saturday’s Jamaica National Jamaica International Invitational meet at the National Stadium when he won the 110m hurdles that included last year’s winner Andy Turner, as well as highly rated Americans Antwon Hicks, who had set the previous meet record 13.27 seconds in 2009, and Ronnie Ash.

His compatriot Richard Phillips, who will be seeking one of three spots on the plane to London, was disqualified after a false start.

The Fitz Coleman-trained, University of the West Indies, Mona athlete just got to the line ahead of Ash (13.20), with Hicks (3.36) third, but signalled that he will be ready come late June when the Jamaican Olympic Trials are held.

Parchment, who is the third fastest Jamaican over the distance, behind only current national record holder Dwight Thomas and former record holder Maurice Wignal, admitted he was surprised by his fast time.

"Yes, I was surprised at how fast I ran. I was not aware that my training had been going so well; it was a good race," he told reporters afterwards.

A week earlier, Parchment ran 13.61 seconds in the college men’s race at the 118th Penn Relays, defeated by Andrew Riley, another of the men he will have to beat to earn his ticket to London; but he said the very cool conditions there hampered his preparation.

"The temperature (at Penn Relays) was a factor," he explained. "Here is more conducive to running faster as it is much warmer."

Obviously aware of what he has to do to qualify for the Olympics, Parchment told reporters on Saturday that he was "pleased, but still believe I could have run much faster".

His goal, he said, is to challenge the top three Jamaicans in Thomas, Phillips and Riley, and he is working hard on his strength, flexibility and speed.

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