Jamaica’s top level track and field coach, Raymond “KC” Graham is very disappointed with the absence of the obstacle events in the Digicel Grand Prix Series.
His disappointment comes from the fact that, in the second year of the Series there is no hurdling event, sprint or intermediate.
“I understand the first year it is not there, but in the second year, how can you leave out sprint or intermediate hurdles”? Graham questioned.
“When you look at Jamaica’s success, we had a world champion (Danielle Williams) and finalist (her sister, Shermaine) recently in the women’s sprint hurdles, we had a silver medallist (Hansle Parchment) and a finalist (Omar McLeod) in the men’s 110m hurdles…we had a finalist in the 400m hurdles, and when you look on the records over the years, we had the Brigitte Foster, Jillian Russell, Dion Hemmings, Melaine Walker, Danny McFarlane, and tell me, show me a medalist in the 800m or much success in the long or high jump,” he asked.
Deon Hemmings won the Caribbean’s first female Olympic title, the women’s 400m hurdles in 1996. She went on to win silver in Sydney 2000. She also has two medals at the World Championships level.
Walker won the Olympic 400m hurdles in 2008 and World Championships title in 2009.
Foster-Hylton, after silver in Paris 2003 and bronze in Helsinki 2005, topped the podium in the 100m-hurdles in Berlin 2009.
Delloreen Ennis has three World Championships 100m hurdles medals, Gillian Russell, the two-time (1990 and 1992) World Junior champion, won a silver at the World Indoor Championships in 1997.
Kaliese Spencer and Janieve Russell won World Junior 400m hurdles titles in 2006 and 2012 while Sherene
Pinnock secured back-to-back bronze medals in 2004 and 2006.
Jaheel Hyde won the 2014 World Junior 400m hurdles title and the 2013 World Youth 110m hurdles crown. Tyler Mason won silver in the 110m hurdles at the 2014 World Junior Championships.
At the Youth level, Yanique Thompson won the 2013 100mh title in a world record time, while Marvin Williams pocketed the 400m hurdles crown at the same event.
Natasha Ruddock and Shermaine Williams have secured silver medals at the World Youth level in 2005 and 2007 respectively.
Shermaine was also the World Junior silver medallist in 2008.
“The technical committee is not encouraging the events that Jamaica have great success in over the years, and I’m very disappointed,” added Graham.
Graham said the technical committee had enough time to add at least one of the hurdles events, especially since they met after the World Championships last summer.