André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Surprise Olympic 110m hurdles bronze medalist Hansle Parchment described his London 2012 accomplishment as a real eye-opener and constant source of motivation heading into this year's IAAF World Championships season.
Parchment became the first Jamaican sprint hurdler to medal at a global championship when he crossed the tape in a national record 13.12 seconds, to finish behind Americans Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson.
The University of the West Indies student had shown real promise a year earlier at the World University Games, where he mined gold, but with the World Championships in Moscow now a few months away, Parchment enters the discussion with a target on his back, but high on confidence.
"I would say that 2012 was a revealing year for me." Parchment told The Gleaner. "I really got to see my potential and what I could do; things to look forward to so, I'm using that as my push and motivation to do my best this year."
The 2012 RJR Sportsman of the Year nominee is also taking confidence from being short-listed among the nation's best and certain comments made by Olympic champion and world-record holder Merritt.
Merritt, in an exclusive interview with The Gleaner, praised the 22- year-old Parchment, stating that he believes the lanky Jamaican has the ability to develop into one of the event's best.
"I think he (Parchment) did a great job this year (2012) for himself and for Jamaica, coming out and competing well, breaking the Jamaican record a couple times as well. I think he is a good guy, he has good height and is a good competitor, so I think in years to come he is really going to be great," Merritt said.
"If the world-record holder has confidence in me and believes I can do well, it gives me a great feeling," Parchment responded. "It's up to me to go out there and fulfil that potential and raise myself to that level.
"Plus, it's always a honour to be among the best athletes of this country. I like the vibe and it helps to add to my motivation to push myself so that I can become Sportsman of the Year as well, sometime in the future," he added.
Criticised for his pedestrian start, Parchment pointed out that he has been working closely with coach Fitz Coleman to correct certain areas of his race and believes he will be able to do even better in 2013.
"Training has been good so far, I am working on a few areas and I have a few other things to work on as well, but I am confident that the year will go well," Parchment said. "I am relaxed, me and my coach are working together. We have set some goals and we do believe that we can have another positive year."