Grassfield High School alum Grant Holloway may have been the favorite on paper, but Jamaican Hansle Parchment stole the show Thursday in Tokyo, repeating his nation’s gold in the men’s 110m hurdles.
The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist edged the reigning world champion out at the line in 13.04 for his second Games medal.
Holloway, 23, who entered the final as the world leader and top qualifier in both initial rounds, lost speed after the 10th hurdle and was overtaken in 13.09.
Parchment’s compatriot Ronald Levy took bronze in 13.10, while American Devon Allen, fifth in Rio, was fourth in 13.14.
Jamaican Omar McLeod, the defending Olympic champion, missed the team after dealing with cramps at Jamaica’s Olympic trials, hitting the first hurdle and finishing last.
Holloway, of Chesapeake, Virginia, clocked 12.81 during the semifinals at June’s U.S. Olympic Trials to finish one-hundredth of a second off American Aries Merritt’s 2012 world record.
WAVY News 10’s Marielena Balouris spoke with Holloway after his win.
MARIELENA: Grant Holloway, you are an Olympic medalist, how do you feel?
GRANT: I Feel amazing. At first, it was a little, you know, a little distraught. But you know, to actually have this medal around my neck to actually go through the rounds and go through the awards ceremony, to think about everything I did this year I think this was just another dream come true.
MARIELENA: Tell me about your race. What did you think about how everything went?
GRANT: I think the first round was really good. I was able to run 13.03 so I was able to have a little bit of swagger going into the finals and the prelims. Prelims felt a little shaky, first morning session for me so it was something I had to bounce back from. Then Hansle Parchment, he had an amazing race. He executed his race plan to the best of his ability, I did not. That’s the outcome I was able to get silver and he was able to get gold. You know all in all, to have this experience to have this time of everything going on it was a dream come true. Being from Chesapeake, Virginia and to have all the family and friends supporting me back at home, I know I really made them happy.
MARIELENA: There’s no doubt the whole country loves you, loves watching you run. But especially the 757 has been cheering you on and is so proud of you. What do you want to say to everybody back at home?
GRANT: I mean I want to say thank you, you know, even through all the rounds I was looking really strong and this wasn’t the outcome we wanted as a cohesive unit, but to think back on everything we accomplished this year you know we were able to break the world indoor world record and then come within 2 shaving away from the outdoor world record. And then to make the team, be called and Olympian. To have this medal around my neck. You know it’s not just my medal, it’s our medal so thank you for all the support this year, this is just the beginning. You know I’m 23 years old and I’m looking forward to everything.
Rio marked the first non-boycotted Olympics the U.S. failed to win at least one medal in the event. Holloway’s silver puts the nation back on the podium.