Green goes to US for Olympic prep

December 14, 2015
Jamaica's Leford Green (left) in action in the second heat of the men's 400 metres hurdles at the world Championships. At right is American Michael Tinsley who was second and at centre, South Africa's LJ Van Zyl, who placed fourth.

Leford Green will be preparing for the 2016 Olympics in the United States. After a sojourn here in Jamaica, the 2012 Olympic 400 metre hurdles finalist is heading to North Carolina to train with his former high school and college coach, Lennox Graham. Green outlined his plans as he journeyed to the airport yesterday.

The move revives his long collaboration with Graham, who is the head coach at Johnson C Smith University.

"It seems like forever, since 2004, when I attended Kingston College and since then, it's been like a father-son relationship," he said.

"It's more than just a coach."

At Kingston College, Graham guided the Portmore resident to great results. In 2006, Green became the second 400 metre runner to break 46 seconds, after Usain Bolt, at Boys' and Girls' Championships.

Green dominated the NCAA Division Two championships during his time as a student-athlete at Johnson C Smith, winning titles at both 400 m hurdles and the flat 400 m.

To crown all that, he set a hurdles personal best of 48.47 seconds in 2010 and reached the Olympic final in London.He says he and Graham are aiming higher this time.

"We're trying to surpass just making the final this time around," he said.

"We're trying to actually go up there, mix up things and try to get to the medals."

Green, a member of Jamaica's teams to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the World Championships in both 2013 and 2015, added.

"This is what we've really been dreaming if, been thinking of and planning of."

If successful, he would join Winthrop Graham and Danny McFarlane who hurdled to Olympic medals, both silver, in 1992 and 2004 respectively.

The tall Jamaican, who is hoping for an injury free 2016 season, trained in Jamaica as part of the Cameron Blazers track club and he has nothing but praise for that organisation.

"I give credit to them for just keeping me together and helping me to just stay focused and stay motivated," he said.

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