Hubert Lawrence: Parchment is number one

Overtaking giants like Keith Gardner and Maurice Wignall wasn’t easy, but now Hansle Parchment is the best Jamaican 110-metre hurdler of all time. Gardner and Wignall were so accomplished that Parchment had to be especially good to get past them, but his recent World Championships silver medal has completed his ascent to the top. It is a fine achievement. Coached by Fitz Coleman, Parchment has done what those notables were unable to do by winning medals at the highest level. His 2011 World University Games gold medal probably matches the Commonwealth gold medals won by Gardner, Wignall and Andrew Riley; and the Pan-American Games by Andrew Parker in 1987. He became the first Jamaican to win an Olympic medal in the 110-metre hurdles in 2012 when he surged to third. Gardner set high standards by winning at the 1958 Commonwealth Games and with a fifth place finish at the 1960 Olympics. Wignall connected the dots from Gardner to the 21st century by reaching the Olympic final in 2004, placing a close fourth. Now retired, Wignall won a World Indoor bronze in 2004 and time-warped the national record to 13.17 seconds. Wonderfully consistent, he matched Gardner’s Commonwealth win in 2006 and returned to the Olympic final in 2008 and was a three-time finalist at the World Championships. In addition, he took Richard Phillips with him to the 2008 Olympic final. Dwight ‘Bigga’ Thomas, who would lower the national record to 13.15, joined Wignall in the 2009 World Championships final. That record is now 12.94 seconds. Parchment set that mark last year to be the first Jamaican to break the magical 13-second barrier. He doesn’t yet have the repeat World Championships appearances that Wignall has. Sadly, a freak accident in the prematurely dark confines of the National Stadium East field left him injured in 2013. That caught up to him in the World Championships semi-final. That’s behind him now. A fine run earned him a silver in Beijing in this summer’s World Championships behind slick Russian Sergey Shubenkov. His national record may not last long. Twenty-one-year-old Omar McLeod beat him this year at the Jamaican National Championships with a pluperfect run of 12.97 seconds. Astute observers believe the younger man can tackle the world record of 12.80 seconds held by reigning Olympic champion Aries Merritt of the United States. Parchment may move the Jamaica record himself because he has a knack of running his best when it counts the most. The records show he set a personal best – 13.24 seconds – to win his World University Games gold; a Jamaican all-time best of 13.12 for his Olympic bronze; and a seasonal best of 13.03, the third-fastest time by a Jamaican, to take second at the recent 2015 World Championships. That’s an indicator for the future. For now, Parchment’s medals make all the difference. Simply put, the tall man from Port Morant is the best 110 hurdler Jamaica has ever produced. – HUBERT LAWRENCE has made notes at track side since 1980. read more

They’re Kings of cellar

first_imgCHICAGO – The Kings took a firmer grip on last place in the Western Conference on Tuesday night. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 26 shots to earn his first shutout with the Blackhawks and Patrick Sharp scored two goals in Chicago’s 3-0 victory over the Kings in a matchup of the conference’s two worst teams. Khabibulin, who signed a four-year, $27 million contract with the Blackhawks in August 2005, posted his first regular-season shutout since March1, 2004, while with Tampa Bay. He played his 99th game with Chicago and recorded his 36th NHL shutout. “He played well,” Kings coach Marc Crawford said of Khabibulin. “I thought he was sound and didn’t allow a lot of rebounds, especially in the first period. But we didn’t test him to the level that we’ll be sending that one to the Hall of Fame.” Sean Burke made 18 saves for the Kings, last in the West with 54 points. Following the game, Crawford could be heard yelling at his team behind the closed dressing room door. “When you allow any team in the National Hockey League not to work for their goals, then you’re really facing an uphill battle,” Crawford said. “In a game tonight between twoteams at the bottom of the league battling for position, I was disappointed in how our battle level was.” Rene Bourque also scored for Chicago, which won its second straight after a 1-6-2 stretch. Brent Seabrook and Jeff Hamilton each had two assists. Bourque had the only goal of the first period, scoring just 22seconds in on the game’s first shot. Khabibulin made a couple of close-in stops in the first, including a toe save on Mike Cammalleri at 4:37. center_img Sharp made it 2-0 at 1:38 of the second period. He swept in a one-timed shot from the left circle after Seabrook chipped a cross-ice pass to him that bounced past two Kings. The Kings managed only three shots in the second, two on a late power play. Also: The Kings recalled defenseman Peter Harrold from Manchester of the AHL and he arrived in time to play. … Defenseman Rob Blake was a late scratch because of a groin pull. Center Anze Kopitar missed his third game with a muscle strain, and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky sat out his second with a lower body injury. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more