Parchment, McLeod plot hurdles dominance
World Championships and Olympic Games 110 metres hurdles medallist Hansle Parchment strongly believes that Jamaica, with Omar McLeod and himself leading the way, can wrestle supremacy in the sprint hurdles away from the Americans and Russians.
The 25-year-old Parchment won bronze in the event at the 2012 Olympics, with American Aries Merritt, the world record holder, taking gold. Parchment came even closer at last year's World Championships when he copped silver behind Russia's Sergey Shubenkov, with McLeod, in his first senior competition final, placing sixth.
Parchment now believes that Jamaica has the ammunition to conquer the field at the Rio Olympics later this year.
"I feel we have the potential. We are two strong athletes and we are working towards our goals," Parchment said. "It would be great for us to start to dominate hurdling, which we have never done before."
McLeod, 22, is also keen on a Jamaican dominance of the event. He also envisions himself and Parchment making history.
"He (Parchment) is my big bro (brother). We always give each other pep talks before races, we warm up together and we run together," McLeod shared. "So it is always exciting running with him, and I just want both of us to continue to make Jamaica proud and create a lot of history."
The two gave a glimpse into the future when they finished first and second in the opening Diamond League meet of the season.
McLeod won in a world leading and season's best time of 13.05 seconds, while Parchment, who, like his compatriot, was competing in his first Diamond League, clocked a season-best 13.10.
Spain's Orlando Ortega (13.12) was third, while 2013 World Champion, American David Oliver (13.16) was fourth, and Merritt was sixth in 13.37.
Parchment has, however, warned against complacency. He stressed that the event is very unpredictable and it is just a matter of who executes better on the day.
"The hurdles are very unpredictable, so sometimes we can't tell who will win," Parchment said. "It is early and I believe everyone is still in the transition phase. This is my second race, so we are really just getting started. It is a very good start so far; probably the best ever for me, so I am giving thanks for that."
McLeod, on the other hand, already has his sights set on winning the Diamond trophy for the event and achieving Olympics glory.
"That is my aim (to win everything); that is my goal; especially with the Olympics," McLeod said. "So I am really just taking it one step at a time and not jumping the gun too much. One race at a time and I know if I do that and go out there and have fun, the sky is the limit."