Parchment comes full circle to punch ticket to TokyoSaturday, July 03, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
SPRINT hurdler Hansle Parchment has experienced the full gamut of emotions during his journey to qualifying for the Olympics that starts in about three weeks, from a good start to his training to suffering a serious setback in making the team.
The Jamaican men sprint hurdles pool is one of the deepest worldwide with five men in the top 10 in the world and six in the top 12, which acclaim lived up to expectation with a spectacular display on Sunday's final day of competition at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/ Ministry of Sports/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships at the National Stadium.
Of late the sprint hurdles at the JAAA Championships have provided drama, excitement and of course, bitter disappointments – and this year was no different.
On the men's side, Omar McLeod, the national record holder and the fastest Jamaican man so far this season, hit the first hurdle and was out, finishing eighth, and was not selected while former World Championships gold medallist Danielle Williams was fourth in the women's race and failed once more to make it to the Olympics.
It was sweet success over adversity for Parchment, however, as he ran a season's best 13.16 seconds (0.6m/s) for third, behind winner Ronald Levy in 13.10 seconds and Damion Thomas who ran a personal best 13.11 seconds.
“I am just happy that I can compete, trust me. Really, really happy because it's been a rough season,” a relieved Parchment told the Jamaica Observer after the race. He traced his arduous journey. “Training has been going really well – from the background workout to the start of the year, then I got a stress fracture and you know, that it's a bone thing and you really have to rest for the bone to heal. And it took me quite a bit of time to get to here, so I am very thankful.”
Parchment, who had won bronze at the London Olympics in 2012, was forced to withdraw from the team that went to the Rio Games in 2016 as he failed to recover from an injury and was replaced by Andrew Riley.
The prospects of missing out again due to injury was a real one but he said he stuck to his recovery regime. “I had to do a lot of swimming. I did some weight[lifting] but I could not put too much on the foot; but I tried to keep the fitness up with the swimming and that worked and I have to give a lot of thanks to [swimming Coach Lynval Lowe – we did a lot of work there at the stadium pool.”
If he was rusty from lack of races this year, it did not show as he ran 13.19 seconds (0.6m/s) to win his semi-final on Saturday evening. “This is what? My third or fourth race, maybe? I had a lot of things working on,” he said, adding that he was working on what many think is the weakest part of his race. “I have been improving on the start; it's way better than it used to be but I still have some work to do in terms of executing.”
Sunday's race, he said, was hard for the eight men who stepped up to the start line. “I think the early morning was a little rough on everybody; we did not have much time between last night and this morning but I think we did well. Really, sorry that [Omar] McLeod is not in it,” he commiserated.
“I think if we had more time, hydration would not have been an issue. You can't drink while you are sleeping but looking forward to his speedy recovery.”
Parchment was upbeat about his prospects in Tokyo and even hinted that he was looking to go under his personal best 12.94 seconds, which was a national record at the time.
“I have enough time to prepare for the Olympics; I think I will be ready,” he said. And when asked by the Observer whether he saw American Grant Holloway's 12.81 seconds run the previous evening, he added with a grin, “12.81, he is on fire. I will have to execute a much better race if I want to get to that level, and I think I am in line for that and I'll keep pushing and keep working.”
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