Riley aims for three-peat in 110m hurdles at JAAA/SVL Nat'l Championships
FOLLOWING successes in 2013 and last year, Andrew Riley will be hoping to make it three from three when he competes in the men's 110 metres hurdles at the weekend JAAA/SVL National Senior Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.
The final of this event is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. on Saturday's third day, with the first round to take place one hour and 40 minutes earlier.
Riley, the former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor and Outdoor champion, did not face his main threat, Hansle Parchment, in 2013. Parchment picked up an injury on the warm-up track and could not face the starter.
However, a year ago he scored a very close win over Parchment for his second title in a row and will be hoping to get the better of Parchment, the national record holder in the event, once again.
With a season best of 13.28 seconds, done at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, Riley is the second fastest Jamaican, so far, in the event and despite the presence of Parchment his biggest threat could come from former Manchester High and Kingston College hurdler Omar McLeod, who just completed his sophomore year at the University of Arkansas.
McLeod, who two years ago owned the National Junior records in both 110m and 400m hurdles after winning at 'Champs' for Kingston College, has been concentrating on the 110m hurdles this past season, where he has been having a fantastic run. He has the three fastest times, so far, in the event as a Jamaican.
His 13.21-second at Drake Relays in April sees him as number seven on the IAAAF World top list. Two weeks ago, he proved that he is in great form with a wind-aided 13.01 seconds to win comprehensively at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, to remain unbeaten this season.
It will be his first time competing at the National Senior Championships among the big boys, but based on his excellent form, so far, this season, it could be first time lucky.
After winning bronze at the London Olympic Games in 2012, Parchment was touted to be the first Jamaican to pick up a gold medal at the global level, and for three years straight he has been the number-one Jamaican in the event, with his 12.94 seconds done in Paris last year being the world leading time, which was a national record.
He has not been at his best, so far, this season due to injury and will have to show big improvements on his season best 13.40 seconds, when finishing fifth at the Drake Relays, where he was also beaten by Riley if he is to go all the way.
Former National champion, the veteran Dwight Thomas is harbouring thoughts of a top-three finish, but with a season best of 13.42 seconds, he will need a miracle.