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J'can female sprint hurdles trouble?

Published:Monday | May 13, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer

OVER the years, Jamaican female athletes have been competitive on the world stage in the women's 100m hurdles with the likes of Michelle Freeman, Lacena Golding-Clarke, Delloreen Ennis and Brigitte Foster-Hylton making their mark against the best in the world.

However, with those athletes now past their prime, despite the excellent performances from a few female sprint hurdlers at the junior level, no one seems able at the moment, to take on the mantle.

Undoubtedly, Foster-Hylton has been the country's best female sprint hurdler, winning all three medal colours at the World Championships; after silver in 2003, bronze in 2005 and gold in Berlin in 2009.

Who will fly Jamaican flag

The big question now, is who is set to carry on this task of keeping the country's flag flying in the event, which over the past three years, has become one of the most competitive at the world stage among females.

With the World Championships set for this summer, it will be very interesting to see which Jamaicans will make their marks here. Interestingly, no Jamaican woman has gone under the 13 seconds mark so far this season.

Olympian Shermaine Williams and Kimberly Laing are the best Jamaicans so far as both have clocked season best 13.09 seconds to be joint 22nd overall on the world top list. The next best Jamaican is veteran, Ennis, whose 13.14 seconds done at the Cayman Island Invitational has her at 30th.

To be competitive in this event, one has to be running under 12.7 seconds and only Foster-Hylton went under that mark in 2012 as she had times of 12.51, 12.60 and 12.68 seconds. Latoya Greaves, who was second at the National Senior Championships in 2012 with 12.77 and Shermaine Williams with 12.78 seconds were our next best, as former national champion, Indira Spence (12.92) and Laing (12.97) seconds were the only others to have gone under 13 seconds last year.

Recently, Olympic 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker has switched to the 100m hurdles, an event she dominated in high school and also where she had some success at the collegiate level and many will be hoping that the talented Walker will be the answer to Jamaica's female sprint hurdles struggles.

She along with Danielle and Shermaine Williams, Greaves and a more focused Natasha Ruddock will be hoping to get the country back on track in an event where the country's athletes have made their mark in the past.