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Hansle Parchment, Ready for a Big Season

Hansle Parchment, Ready for a Big Season

Posted by Shanelle Weir on May 12, 2014

His injury-disrupted 2013 season behind him, Jamaica's sprint hurdler Hansle Parchment looks poised for another big season as he chases his first major gold medal. Parchment, the national record holder at 13.05 seconds set in early June last year in Eugene, Oregon, and the current world leader on the IAAF performance charts with 13.14 seconds set at the Drake Relays in late April, won a tough race last Saturday at the 11th Jamaica International Invitational (JII) at the National Stadium.

Battling negative 2.2 metres per second head winds, Parchment beat IAAF World Championships silver medallist Ryan Wilson of the USA to the line, clocking 13.42 seconds, as Wilson ran 13.45 seconds, with Jamaica's Andrew Riley third in 13.56 seconds. So far Parchment has beaten the top two finishers from last year's World Championships after getting the better of world champion David Oliver at the Drake Relays where Wilson was third.

The lanky Jamaican, who had just recovered from an ankle injury to make it to Moscow, had hit a hurdle in the semi-final and crashed out of contention, a year after he shocked the world to win the bronze medal at the London Olympic Games.

He got off to a fast start last year and appeared on his way to a podium place in Moscow before a freak accident at the warm-up track at the Jamaican National Trials set him back. He got hurt while practising his start on a poorly lit track, spraining his ankle and losing valuable training time just before the World Championships severely affected his preparation.

He advanced past the first round in Moscow as one of the fastest losers, but then hit a hurdle in the semi-final and crashed out of the event.

Despite his success so far this season, Parchment, who won the JII title in 2012 and was second to American Antwon Hicks last year, said he is not at his best as he is battling a hamstring issue.

"I am not at the best that I want to be," he told reporters. "There are some little niggles here and there, but I am working on them and hopefully I can strengthen everything and be ready for the rest of the season."

The athlete, who is confident he can go under the 13-second barrier this season, still thinks he has a lot of work to do on his start. "The start is still a lot of work, but I am improving, I believe," he told the Observer. "I am much closer to the guys than I was before and so I am giving thanks for that."

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