Men’s hurdles to highlight day three action at ‘Trials’

The men’s 110m hurdles one of the most competitive events at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championship will take the spotlight on today’s third day of the four day championships at the National Stadium.

The semi-finals are set for 6:30 pm with the final set for 8:45 pm and National Record holder and World Leader Hansle Parchment (13.05 seconds) will lead the charge as the athletes seek places on the team to the IAAF World Championships next month.

Ten other national champions will be crowned today while the first two rounds of the men’s 200m will also be run, along with the semi-finals of the women’s 200m. The men’s and women’s 800m finals and the semi-finals of the 400m will also be run today.

In the field, the men’s discus throw featuring National Record holder Traves Smikle, who is going after his third title in a row, and former holder Jason Morgan; the men’s long jump and high jump and women’s shot put will add to what is expected to be another exciting afternoon of track and field.

Parchment, who has broken the National Record three times since last year while winning Jamaica’s first-ever medal, a bronze, in the event is expected to prevail in the 110m hurdles but is expected to be pushed all the way by Andrew Riley, Richard Phillips and former champion Dwight Thomas, who is coming back from an injury-plagued season last year.

Fireworks are expected in the men’s 200m and with Usian Bolt being given the bye as the defending champion and Yohan Blake, the defending champion after beating Bolt last year at Trials, out of the championships, a new champion will be crowned.

Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir, Diamond League champion Nickel Ashmeade and Jason Young will lead the charge for the three additional places on the team behind Bolt.

Ashmeade’s 20.00 seconds set at the Jamaica International Invitational in May is the second best in the world, beaten only by Bolt’s 19.79 seconds set at a Diamond League meeting two weeks ago.

Weir has run a season’s best 20.11 seconds, but could go under 20.00 seconds in tomorrow evening’s finals.

Rusheen McDonald led the men’s 400m qualifiers from Thursday afternoon’s first round into today’s semi-finals, running 45.68 seconds leading the likes of defending champion Dane Hyatt (45.99 seconds), Errol Nolan (46.15 seconds), Calabar schoolboy Javon Francis (45.88) and local-based Javere Bell and Nicholas Maitland.

The women will make the first appearance today where many-time defending champion Novlene Williams-Mills, UTech’s Stephanie McPherson who started the season well lowering her personal best times on three occasions, Patricia Hall who was unfortunately injured in the finals here last year and Shericka Williams will seek to qualify for tomorrow’s final.

In the men’s discus throw, Jason’s Morgan’s 65.94m set in March, is the top distance by a Jamaican man but Smikle who has competed sparingly so far this year and NCAA Division One runner-up Chad Wright are both gunning for a place on the team as well.

Damar Forbes will come into the men’s long jump in good form after a stellar final season competing for Louisiana State University (LSU), but his season best 8.02m is short of the B qualifying standard of 8.10m that should have been achieved between October last year and the end of July.

Former world record holder Asafa Powell (left) comfortably wins his heat of the men’s 100m in the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championship at the National Stadium on Thursday evening. (PHOTO: GARFIELD ROBINSON)

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