Wignall: 110m hurdlers could win two medals in Budapest
It isn’t out of the question that 110 metres hurdlers in black, green and gold could occupy two spots on the podium in Budapest, Hungary, at next year’s World Athletics Championships. So says the dean of Jamaican sprint hurdlers Maurice Wignall....
It isn’t out of the question that 110 metres hurdlers in black, green and gold could occupy two spots on the podium in Budapest, Hungary, at next year’s World Athletics Championships. So says the dean of Jamaican sprint hurdlers Maurice Wignall.
Wignall is seeing a repeat of the one-three finish by the Fitz Coleman-coached Hansle Parchment and Ronald Levy at last year’s Olympics. “I think we can try for two podium spots for next year, at the very least, given the bunch of talent that has emerged. Then, moving forward, I guess we just have to see how the years go by, but for next year we’re looking very good,” Wignall said.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games champion can see 2017 World champion Omar McLeod back in the running. “I’m anticipating he will come back, and come back strong,” Wignall added.
Wignall coached 2022 Commonwealth Games winner Rasheed Broadbell at St Jago High School and knows his potential. “I don’t think Broadbell is going to slow down any time soon, but I’m also impressed with Orlando Bennett, who has clocked a sub-13.20 seconds for the event. That’s pretty much at the end of the season and that’s not bad at all,” he said with reference to personal best times of 12.99 by Broadbell and 13.18 by Broadbell in 2022.
“So, I’m very excited, and that’s why I say two podium spots,” said the man known as ‘Mr Smooth’ since his days at Calabar High School.
Levy lost 2022 to injury, but Wignall hopes he will be back. “I hope that he will recover, I’d love to see him in the mix. If he’s in the mix, McLeod in the mix, Parchment in the mix, Broadbell up there, Orlando Bennett up there, that’s five. and any of the other guys coming up. It should be, first of all, a very interesting race at the Trials next year.”
Lennox Graham, the expert hurdles coach at Clemson University, concurs with Wignall. “Right now, it’s an embarrassment of riches,” said the former KC head coach.
Graham knows how hard the National Championships can be. This year, one of his charges, former Calabar captain LaFranz Campbell, made it to the final, but despite a solid time of 13.48, his other hurdler, Giano Roberts, missed the cut. “So, I know first-hand how strong that is, but it is encouraging, and I’m happy for the athletes and the coaches who achieved it,” he said.
“The hurdling is bright,” Graham posited, “and any male that decides to continue their career in that event, they have to be brave, and they have to believe in what they’re doing in order to continue, because it’s not an easy event in Jamaica right now.”
Then he concluded, “There’s no 4x110m hurdles. There’s nowhere to hide.”