Anderson to lead new wave of Jamaican sprint hurdlers

April 15, 2020

World Junior record holder Brittany Anderson will lead a new cadre of Jamaican sprint hurdlers into the future. That's the view of Fitz Coleman, the coach who has helped Hansle Parchment to historic Olympic and World Championship medals for Jamaica.

Coleman says the country is especially well stocked in the 100-metre hurdles for women.

In a recent interview with STAR Sports, Coleman likened Jamaica's depth to well-blended soup. "You know they have those ladies cooking soup at the Stadium and they have cow skin, chicken foot, turkey neck and all the other types of meat mixed up?", he postulated. "That's how the female race is. It's a helluva rich pot of soup. It's difficult to say who's going to come but I think Anderson is at the top of the list right now," reasoned Coleman.

Anderson set a Boys and Girls' Championships Class 2 100 hurdles record while at Vere Technical in 2017 and lost the gold medal at the 2018 World Under-20 Championships by a whisker.

Last year, she set a world junior record of 12.71 seconds.

Her Champs record has been lowered twice, in 2018 by Ray Donna Lee of Hydel High School and last year by Ackera Nugent of Excelsior High School, the holder of the world under-18 record.

Coleman's point was reinforced at the senior World Championships in Doha last October when three Jamaicans - bronze medal winner Danielle Williams, Janeek Brown and Megan Tapper - reached the final.

According to Coleman, the foreseeable future is bright for Jamaica in the men's 110-metre hurdles. Known for his production of fast hurdlers at Calabar High and Ardenne High before his work with Parchment, Coleman tips 2018 World Under-20 winner Damion Thomas, 2018 runner-up and Doha semi-finalist Orlando Bennett and 2017 World Under-18 victor and 2018 Commonwealth Games finalist Dejour Russell for success on the men's side. "For male youngsters coming through, I like the young man Thomas. In fact, I like Thomas, Bennett and Dejour," he predicted. "I think that core group can really be the face (of Jamaican hurdling) down the line."

He admires the prowess of Kingston College standout Wayne Pinnock, who lowered Russell's Champs record from 13.10 to 13.06 seconds last season, but notes that Pinnock's primary event is the long jump. "I think it's going to be difficult to carry that double later on when he gets into the senior ranks," Coleman offered. "I don't think he'll have the luxury to go six rounds of hard jumping and then come back and do three rounds of hurdling, not at the senior level."

Notably, current world hurdles champ Grant Holloway, all-time great Allen Johnson and 2006 Commonwealth Games champion Maurice Wignall have long jump personal bests of 8.17, 8.14 and 8.09 metres, respectively. However, none of them did the double at major international meets.

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