Levy rises above challenges to secure brilliant bronze
The story of Ronald Levy is not dissimilar to many success stories within Jamaica’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic team.
Triumph despite tribulation is a recurring theme among Jamaica’s elite, with a year of COVID-19 forced restrictions upsetting training patterns and creating challenges — physical and otherwise - at every turn.
Levy, who capped a difficult two-year period, which saw him being unable to walk for over four months in 2019, had a determined run to the 110m hurdles bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Thursday at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
The national champion clocked 13.10 seconds to finish behind compatriot Hansle Parchment, 13.04s, and American Grant Holloway, 13.09s.
“I’m happy for the medal. I am really grateful,” offered Levy, never a man of many words.
In truth, his accomplishment is in itself a small miracle, after suffering a major setback, which would have kept him out of the Olympics if the Games were held as originally scheduled in 2020.
Hampered by hairline fractures to both shins, Levy was forced to go under the knife after the World Championships in Doha after the pain got too unbearable.
Serious painkillers could not help
“In 2019, my two shins were fractured. I mean fractured to the point where serious painkillers could not help me,” Levy shared.
“I was running in Doha on two broken legs. Immediately after Doha, I had to do surgery and I couldn’t walk for, like, four months. I came back and did some rehab. I had to sit out the entire 2020, came back, trained hard, and now I am a medallist. I am really very happy,” Levy noted.
The 28-year-old, who is coached by 2009 world champion in the 100m hurdles Brigitte Foster-Hylton and Stephen Francis at the MVP Track Club, was not exactly pleased with the execution of his race but believes that the results of the final show that Jamaica’s sprint relays programme is a standard-bearer in the world.
“My race still wasn’t clean, but I still got a medal. The execution was okay. I got a twist in the middle of the race, and it kind of threw me off a little, but I continued to push - and thank God for my speed - so when I got off the last hurdle, I just ran as fast as I could to the line,” Levy added.
“I’m just glad that Jamaica managed to get the one-three, and it’s really a very good feeling to be a part of that. Our sprint hurdles programme is top notch. I am sure Jamaica has at least five men in the top 10, and that speaks for itself,” said Levy.
Parchment, Levy, Omar McLeod, Damion Thomas, who made it to the semi-final in Tokyo, and Rasheed Broadbell are all in the top 10 fastest sprint hurdlers this season.