Parchment will break world record, predicts Maurice Wignall
FORMER national sprint hurdles record holder Maurice Wignall is of the firm belief that new Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment will lower the world record as soon as he is fully developed in the discipline.
"When he develops fully and works on his start he is going to break the world record. He has the goods and will take sprint hurdling to a different level," Wignall predicted.
The current world record is 12.87 seconds set in June 2008 in the Czech Republic by Cuban Dayron Robles.
Parchment lowered the national record he set only hours earlier to post 13.12 behind the USA's Aries Merritt, who won the race in 12.92 and Jason Richardson (13.04). He is Jamaica's first male sprint hurdles medallist in either the Olympic Games or World Championships.
Wignall was confident that come next year's World Championships in Russia, Parchment will go even faster and will become one of the world's premier sprint hurdlers.
At the national trials in June Parchment lowered his personal best to 13.18 and has repeated the feat in two of his three races which followed.
His achievement came as no surprise to Wignall who told the Jamaica Observer minutes after Parchment had finished second behind Robles in semi-final three to qualify for the final yesterday, that the athlete stood a great chance of standing on the medal podium if he could correct his problems coming out of the starting blocks.
Parchment rallied valiantly after trailing a top-class field in yesterday's 110m Olympic hurdles final to finish third and win a historic bronze medal for a proud country.
"Parchment will medal if he can fix his start," Wignall had predicted.
The 22-year-old Parchment got off to a horrid start but as he did in the National Trials in June and his heats and semi-finals in the Olympics, he produced a stunning late burst to finish among the medal winners.
"I told you so. When he works on that start that run on will be a run away," Wignall, whose former coach Fitz Coleman has the job of conditioning Parchment, said.
Wignall, who has been Jamaica's most successful sprint hurdler before Parchment's achievement with a Commonwealth title and fourth place finish in the 2004 Athens Olympics, said Jamaica's newest male hurdling star will take the discipline to heights he could only dream of.
"He is focused and dedicated and will reach heights I could only dream of," an elated Wignall said.
Becoming Jamaica's first medallist in the sprint hurdles is another in a list of firsts for Parchment.
He is the first local based hurdler to win the National Trials, the first Jamaican to win the World University Games sprint hurdles title and the first local male university student to qualify for the Olympic Games.
While shying away from accepting praise for his firm belief in Parchment's ability, Wignall said he realised that the country's first male sprint medallist was the genuine article after working out with him more than a year ago.
"While I was not in the best shape, he sailed over the hurdles and was gone. It was only his start that I had questions about, but by the time he reached hurdle number four he was gone," Wignall said.
As a schoolboy Parchment started hurdling in the sprint and 400 metres for Morant Bay High School before he transferred to Kingston College where he won the Class One 100m hurdles at the Boys Championships.
He is currently seeking to complete a psychology degree at the University of West Indies, Mona campus.