Jamaica Gleaner / WHEN the semi-final round of the men’s 110m hurdles gets under way at the National Senior Championships inside the National Stadium on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., all eyes will be on Olympic champion Omar McLeod, who will be hoping to win his third National Senior title in a row
McLeod, in the past year, has been the top man in the world in the event, and will start favourite to win, but it should not be a cakewalk for him. In new kid on the block, Ronald Levy, and Hansle Parchment, McLeod has two worthy competitors who could spoil his show. With the three fastest times in the world so far, with his 13.01 seconds winning time at the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon, being at the top, McLeod will be eyeing sub-13 seconds.
Before the season started, no one had Levy in the mix but after a breakout season so far, the University of Technology student, who is conditioned by Stephen Francis and Brigitte Foster-Hylton has shown that he has the class to do something special and capture his first National Senior title. Only McLeod has gone faster than him this season, when he clocked a personal best of 13.10 seconds to finish second behind McLeod.
Levy had problems at hurdles two and four, but was closing fast on McLeod and definitely has a great chance of going all the way if he can keep out of trouble with the barriers.
fine form He proved, two weeks ago, at the JN Racers Grand Prix that he is in fine form when he easily defeated a strong field to win the event in 13.17 seconds. Now high on confidence, he should not be taken lightly.
Parchment, the 2012 national champion, has seen his rise to the top being delayed due to injury over the years. This affected him massively last year, but he is slowly getting back to his best, and with a season best of 13.19 seconds done in early June, when winning at a meet in France, he will be eager to show that he is getting back to his best.
Despite being defeated twice this season by Levy, Parchment will be hoping to turn the tables on him and McLeod, who dominated against him for the past two years, this time around.
The likes of former champion Andrew Riley, Deuce Carter and Tyler Mason will have to improve tremendously if they are to break into the three best, as McLeod, Levy and Parchment are considered the top three in the country at this moment and should fight out the finish.
With his blinding early speed, McLeod is given the edge to win, but do not write off a dangerous Levy.
Top-three Prediction: 1. Omar McLeod
2. Ronald Levy
3. Hansle Parchment