O'Hara should return to hurdles

July 21, 2016
Olympian Maurice Wignall
@Normal:Michael Ohara

At least one observer is hoping that former Calabar High School star Michael O'Hara will return to hurdling later on in his athletics career.

Maurice Wignall, the dean of Jamaican 110m hurdlers, thinks O'Hara has what it takes to be successful in the barrier event.

According to Wignall, O'Hara's return to hurdling could help to make the 110m hurdles a Jamaican glamour event.

O'Hara hasn't run any hurdles races since he ended his successful Boys and Girls' Championships career in 2015.

"He did great hurdling in high school," Wignall said.

At Calabar, O'Hara became just the third athlete to win the sprint hurdles in Classes one, two, and three.

In 2015, he beat Jaheel Hyde, then Youth Olympic and World Youth Champion, in a highly anticipated Class One 110m hurdles clash.

Drawing on his experience as a professional athlete, Wignall, the 2006 Commonwealth 110m hurdles champion, proposed a reason for O'Hara's focus on sprints this season.

"You can get more money for the 100m, contract-wise," he postulated.

According to Wignall, O'Hara has the tools for success. "He's tall, he can improve, he's fast, he's strong," he said.

"Maybe, later on, a year, two years down, you may see him come back in it because Dwight Thomas did something similar," Wignall said.

Thomas, a star sprinter and hurdler at Calabar in the late 1990s, reached the 2005 World Championship 100m final, but returned to the 110m hurdles later in his career.

"If O'Hara can do a similar transition, it would be exciting to see three or four Jamaicans at the very, very top," said Wignall.

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