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Commonwealth Games Gold As Stepping Stone, Says Riley....

Andrew Riley is a picture of happiness during the medals ceremony yesterday. (PHOTO: JOSEPH WELLINGTON)

Sean Williams, Jamaica Observer Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GLASGOW, Scotland — Andrew Riley said to get a gold medal and not run at one’s best is a blessing in itself.

The 26-year-old, who won gold for Jamaica in the men’s 110m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games last night, is not complaining and took the victory with both hands.

“It wasn’t one of my best races, but I was able to get the job done… I have had a lot of ups and down this season, but I thank God for taking me through to my first championship and I am grateful,” he said after the race.

He clocked 13.32 seconds for the win, while silver was won by England’s William Sharman (13.36) and bronze to Barbados’s Shane Brathwaite (13.49).

Riley, the first man to win the NCAA Division One 100m flat and 110m hurdles at the same championship in 2012, grazed a couple of hurdles, but his superior foot speed made the difference towards the end as he finished with a late burst.

“I got too close (to the barriers) in the middle as I tried to accelerate, and I hit one and went off balance, and then I saw the guy over there pulling ahead so I just kept on pressing and just run through the tape,” the Moscow World Championships finalist said, reliving the race.

Riley, a two-time national champion, reminded that mental preparation and technical execution will almost always prove critical in the obstacle race.

“In every final, you have to go out there and prepare yourself mentally to challenge those 10 barriers and today that’s what I did,” he said.

Riley, with his eyes set on the World Championships next year and the Olympics in 2016, said yesterday’s golden run “is a stepping stone for me here on out”.

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