This season, her inaugural one in the professional ranks, Bahamian national record holder in the women’s 100 meters (m) hurdles Pedrya Seymour has gotten exactly the kind of exposure she needed. She has already competed in Japan and China, and settled for a sixth place finish in her Diamond League debut yesterday.
Seymour has been consistently under 13 seconds in the 100m hurdles this year, crossing the finish line in 12.97 at the Bauhaus-Galan Diamond League Meet in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday – the third stop of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League Tour.
Seymour was the only Bahamian in action at the meet yesterday, and is proving that she is all the way back from a hamstring injury that hampered her progress over the past two years. She has run under 13 seconds in four of her five meets this season, including twice over a three-day span in Japan and China, earlier this month. In Stockholm yesterday, just a day after her 24th birthday, and five days after graduating with a masters degree in advertising and public relations from University of Texas at Austin, Seymour celebrated with a sixth place finish among the world’s best.
World record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States won in 12.52 seconds. Another top 10 hurdler from a year ago, American Sharika Nelvis, was second in a season’s best time of 12.69 seconds, and Tobi Amusan, of Nigeria, rounded out the top three, in 12.85 seconds. Cindy Roleder, of Germany, finished fourth, matching her season’s best time of 12.94 seconds. Elvira Herman, of Belarus, was also timed in 12.94 seconds, but had to settle for fifth. Seymour, who trains with Harrison, had to settle for sixth.
Seymour appears to be close to the form of three years ago when she shocked the world with a series of sub-13 second races and set the national record of 12.64 seconds in a span of just four months of shifting from the 400m hurdles to the 100m hurdles. She went on to finish sixth in the Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 12.76 seconds, becoming the first Bahamian, male or female, to advance to an Olympic final in any hurdles event.
After a promising indoor season, Seymour missed almost the entire 2017 outdoor season with a hamstring injury. She transferred to Texas for the start of the 2018 indoor season and continued to progress. Prior to transferring to Texas, Seymour competed for the Illinois Fighting Illini and racked up All-American honors in the 60m hurdles indoors (twice) and the 100m hurdles outdoors. She won a bronze at the 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles in a personal best time of 7.97 seconds.
In 2018, an off year for track and field worldwide, Seymour struggled indoors, but enjoyed a resurgent season outdoors. She had a season’s best run of 12.72 seconds to finish second at the Big 12 Conference Championships in Waco, Texas – just eight one hundredths of a second off her personal best national record time. Seymour went on to the NCAA Championships and finished fourth in the final in 13.04 seconds.
So far this season, Seymour has been the model of consistency, particularly outdoors.
She won the 100m hurdles at the Mt. SAC Relays, in Torrance, California, in April, finishing in 12.88 seconds. Less than a month later, she competed in the 100m hurdles at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix Meet, in Osaka, Japan, and finished third in 12.90 seconds. Just two days later, she was in Nanjing, China, competing in the IAAF World Challenge Meet there, and ran a season’s best time of 12.83 seconds. That was good for fifth place.
Now, the Bahamian national record holder has entered the Diamond League fray, finishing sixth in Stockholm, Sweden, in 12.97 seconds yesterday.
Seymour now trains under the watchful eyes of noted speed and hurdles coach Edrick Floréal in Austin, Texas, in the same camp with Harrison and fellow elite hurdler Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico. The Bahamas’ number one ranked female hurdler now has her sights set on the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
She is expected to be home for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) National Open Championships, set for July 26-27, in Freeport, Grand Bahama.