25 high schools get hurdles in bid to improve Jamaican prowess

By March 26, 2019
25 high schools get hurdles in bid to improve Jamaican prowess AP

Twenty-five Jamaican high schools will each get 20 hurdles under an initiative to improve Jamaica’s performance in the hurdles events.

Over the past three decades, Jamaica has built a strong reputation in the 400m hurdles. Winthrop Graham won a silver medal in the event at the 1993 World Championships in a national record of 47.60s that still stands today.

Three years later, in winning the gold medal in the 400m hurdles in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Deon Hemmings became the first Jamaican to achieve the feat.

Since then, Melaine Walker won gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, a year later. Ristanana Tracey won a bronze medal at the World Championships in London in 2017 while Janieve Russell won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

In the sprint hurdles, Omar McLeod is the 2015 World Champion and 2016 Olympic champion, while Hansle Parchment and Ronald Levy have Commonwealth silver and gold medals, respectively. Parchment is also the 2012 bronze Olympic medallist and the 2015 World Championship silver medallist.

Brigitte Foster-Hylton won gold in the sprint hurdles in 2009 when Deloreen Ennis-London won the bronze medal that year.

Despite the success, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, wants to sustain and even improve the level of success.

Her plan that was announced on Monday at the opening of the refurbished track at Stadium East in Kingston, includes the provision of hurdles equipment to schools in a bid to increase participation in hurdling events and build proficiency in the discipline. With that in mind, her ministry will provide the equipment to the schools at the cost of JMD$12.6m or approximately UDS$100,000.

She credited the Board of Directors at the Sports Development Foundation for coming up with the idea.

“The Board of the SDF in preparing its development plan identified a problem – the performance of our athletes in the hurdles is outstanding but participation is not widespread – Jamaica is excelling in the hurdles at the international level, yet only a minority of our schools participate in the discipline at Champs,” she said.

“The conclusion was that if the pool were wider then we could be even more dominant.”

The schools to receive hurdles include Mount Alvernia High School, Merlene Ottey High School, Ewarton High School, Green Island High School, Claude McKay High School, Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy, Christiana High School, Rhodes Hall High School, Gaynstead High School, Herbert Morrison Tech. High School, Edith Dalton James High School, Spalding High School, St. Andrew Technical High School, Petersfield High School, St. James High School, Immaculate Conception High School, Merl Grove High School, Buff Bay High School, Mona High School, Morant Bay High School, Charlemont High School, Holmwood Technical High School, Waterford High School, Jonathan Grant High School and New Forest High School.





Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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