‘From him small him a run’ - Port Morant residents say Hansle Parchment has always been a hurdler
Almost everyone in Port Morant, St Thomas, credits Hansle Parchment's hurdling skills to community member Trevor Johnson.
A lover of children, Johnson would playfully frighten the neighbourhood's kids and that was when Parchment's hurdling and running skills were highlighted the most.
"Mi usually provoke him so him did fraid a mi. Every time mi see him, mi say 'Come here'and him run and nuh care what deh in front a him, him jump over it. Di last time mi back him up him say 'Jeesas Christ mi dead now' and just start tremble suh. Mi say 'Man nuh run from mi suh anytime yuh see mi because mi nah duh yuh nutten'. Mi say anywhere him see mi, nuh matter how di place high and stay, him a run and jump a fence or window. So up to today dem a say it look like a mi make Hansle take up running because from him small him a run and nothing in front a him can stop him," he said before exploding into a fit of laughter.
It was a rainy afternoon on the seaside and Johnson was among a group of Parchment's friend who were lyming on the shore. A fishing boat belonging to the reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion was docked footsteps away. According to Johnson, Parchment's achievements are not surprising.
"From him small Hansle full a potential and to mi, anything him tell himself say him a go do it, him always dweet and dedicate himself to it. Mi know him woulda be summen important," Johnson said.
Kavin Hamilton, another of Parchment's peers. said he is super proud of his friend's achievement. Like everyone who spoke to THE STAR, Hamilton said he knew that Parchment was destined for greatness.
"He was all-rounder, we used to play football and cricket or just about any other sport. We are definitely not surprised by his achievements because we knew he is a star. We used to go sea go throw line and fish and ting. It was a team of us who grow up around here. We do every little sports, all play marble. I knew he would be an athlete because him use to love jump fence whenever him going anywhere. It was like he was always training," he said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by the lone female in the group, Letecia McDuffus.
"Mi used to sit and watch dem play marble and when Trevor a come, every bwoy gone and Hansle use to jump the nearest fence from him see him. We go Morant Bay High School together and when he joined the track team he was the champion boy for many years. Morant Bay use to win [Eastern] champs when Hansle Parchment a go Morant Bay High School. Yuh coulda see it pon him say him a go make it big because him always train. Yuh wah see mi inna mi Jamaican colours a march up and down the place when him win last year. Mi proud to say a my friend dat,"McDuffus said.