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'It's a first and I'm happy, but ...'

Published:Thursday | August 9, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica's Hansle Parchment (left) sprints to the finish line behind the United States' Aries Merritt during the 2012 Olympic Games men's 110 metres hurdles final at the London Olympic Stadium yesterday. Merritt won gold in 12.92 seconds, beating countryman Jason Richardson (13.04), while a fast-finishing Parchment took bronze in 13.12 seconds. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Parchment expresses bittersweet emotions after historic sprint hurdles Olympic bronze

LONDON, England:

Hansle Parchment walked through the Mixed Zone below the London Olympic Stadium without a hint of joy on his face.

It was hard to tell he had just won himself a bronze medal at his first Olympic Games.

Parchment, who undoubtedly sent the good folks from his St Thomas community of Cashew Bush into a state of frenzy with his 13.12 personal best and national record run in the 110m hurdles final, became the first Jamaican sprint hurdler to medal at the Olympic Games.

The towering sprint hurdler finished third behind the Americans, gold medallist Aries Merritt, 12.92, and Jason Richardson, who clocked 13.04 for the silver medal.

But for the former Morant Bay High School and Kingston College man, a gold or silver medal would have been better.

"I'm very happy, I wish I was a little bit happier as I would have been if I had run sub-12," he said shortly after the run. "I am not as happy as I wanted to be, but it's a first that I did so I am satisfied with that.

"13.12 is an excellent time, I think. I believe that much more work can be done, so that's the aim for me right now, just to continue working hard so I can keep lowering it (national record)."

Parchment, as always, was slowly out of the blocks and had to claw his way back, gaining ground between each hurdle and keeping his nerves as bodies flew beside him, including that of world record holder Dayron Robles, who suffered a hamstring injury - hurdling cleanly to take the bronze medal.

Believing for better times

"I usually (start slowly) and build up in the middle of the race and that's where I caught up today as well," Parchment said, before noting that he believes it's just a matter of time before he gets that sub-13 time.

"I have most of the weapons needed to dip under 13 seconds. It's just about getting it right on the day. I think the technique is already good," noted the World University Games champion, who also took time to pay homage to those who have been supporting him throughout his journey.

"I believe that Mr Coleman (Fitz) is one of the best hurdles coaches, and not just coaching, he is like a father figure to me and has assisted me in many things, not just track and field, and I am very thankful for him being there," Parchment said of his coach.

"I am from a small community called Cashew Bush, so I must thank everyone for their support - Port Morant, Leith Hall, I want to thank the entire St Thomas for the support," said Parchment. "Also UWI, which has been behind me. I have got a lot of assistance and support from them and I am very thankful."