Master move - Hyde’s switch from football takes him to the top

Master move - Hyde’s switch from football takes him to the top

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Saturday, July 13, 2013

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — A timely intervention by Wolmer’s Boys coach Christopher Harley might have resulted in Jamaica’s first ever men’s 110m hurdles gold medal at the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships going on in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Jaheel Hyde, who had made his name as a hurdler, "fell in love", according to Harley, with the 400m and decided to switch to the one-lap race, but he finished third at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Junior Trials in 47.46 seconds behind Devaughn Baker and new World Youth champion Martin Manley.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, Harley said he took it up on himself to approach the JAAA and requested that should Hyde be selected to the team, they should enter him in the hurdles race as he was still ranked in the top-10 in the world.

Whether the JAAA took his suggestion or had their own ideas, the rest is history as Hyde is the new World Youth champion and the second fastest ever with his 13.13 seconds clocking in the final yesterday, just one-hundredth of a second behind Frenchman Wilhem Belocian in Lens in July last year.

While sending out his congratulations to Hyde, Harley admitted he was "surprised by the performances" by his young charge.

Hyde went into the championships with a personal best 13.72 seconds and then ran 13.47 seconds in his first round race then lowered it to 13.22 seconds in the semi-finals, then the World Leading run before his historic run to victory a few hours later.

Harley told the Observer that Hyde had stopped training for the hurdles since he came back from the CARIFTA Games and had put all his efforts in the 400m and this might have helped.

"The 400m work might have made him stronger as he always had the speed and could hurdle," the coach said.

Earlier this year Hyde had caused some ripples when he walked away from the national Under-17 football team to concentrate on track and field and Harley said the World Youth Championship gold justified the move.

"I am really happy he did so well as now he won’t have any regrets about making the move from football. He put his all into track and field and it is now paying off," said Harley.

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