Maurice Wignall, Jamaica’s best 110m hurdler ever, has words of praise and advice for Andrew Riley, Keiron Stewart and Hansle Parchment. In a recent interview, Wignall called Riley and Stewart ‘great talents’ and described Parchment as ‘someone to watch.’
Riley and Stewart have made great progress in the last two seasons in the 110m hurdles and Wignall says they are to be commended.
In the last two seasons, Riley has won the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles before placing second outdoors earlier this month. In the meantime, Stewart followed up his 2008 World Junior Championships bronze medal with a place in the 2011 NCAA finals. They have personal best times of 13.32 and 13.44 seconds, respectively.
He observed that they are both faster than he was at the same stage. “My best in college was probably 13.6. So that has something to say about that type of talent.”
Speaking specifically about Riley, he said, “Andrew Riley, I’ve never been an NCAA indoor champion in the hurdles, much less an outdoor champion in the hurdles. So when you look at that, it’s something to be commended.”
Wignall’s best time during his days at George Mason University was 13.66secs in 1999.
Needs to be Nurtured
The dean of Jamaican hurdling hopes that the young brigade will be encouraged. “Now how do we hold those guys?” he queried. “How do we guide those guys? How do we support those guys and have them continue, because clearly there is talent there. There is something there that needs to be nurtured. That is my concern.”
The 35-year-old Wignall trained with Parchment during a recent stint in Jamaica. During that sojourn, the two-time Olympic finalist has gained high regard for Parchment who was a 2010 Commonwealth Games finalist. “He’s very willing and able to work, and so he’s a good talent, somebody to probably watch,” he observed.
Noting that his ascension to world class took time, he said, “That’s just a determination; that’s just sticking with something you love, no matter what. That’s the only way I can explain it.”
His last bit of advice to Riley, Stewart and Parchment is succinct: “You have to know what you want and then go after it.”
HUBERT LAWRENCE has covered local and international athletics since 1987.