Salmon stays home for now
World Under-20 Championships silver medallist Shiann Salmon says the improvements shown among Jamaica's female 400m hurdlers was behind her decision to renege on her commitment to join the University of Texas, Austin, this fall, opting instead to attend and train at G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport.
"G.C. Foster has Ristananna Tracey and Rhonda Whyte and other quality athletes and those persons are people who I will be competing with at the senior level and training with them will give me a good measure as to where I am at," Salmon explained.
Although Salmon, who broke the 400m hurdles record at Champs earlier this year with a 55.78 seconds run, had signed to join the Longhorns this fall, she asked the newly appointed Texas head coach, Edrick Floreal, to experiment with training at home for at least a year before taking up the offer to become a student-athlete there.
"I am going to try here for at least a year and if it is working then I'll stay, and if it is not then I will leave. I have not given up my position it's just that I am spending a year here to see if it will work or not," Salmon said. "Also it would be great to work with Maurice Wilson because his programme is similar to Coach (Corey) Bennett [Salmon's high school coach]."
Tracey won a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London last year, while Whyte is the reigning Central American and Caribbean Games champion in the event.
"I think G.C. Foster is a really good environment right now," Salmon said.
The former Hydel High School athlete also says she doesn't feel as though she has broken her commitment to Texas since she had not given her commitment to Floreal.
"The coach who was there when I had signed, she is no longer there and the new coach understands that I am willing to try a year here first, so I really don't think I am breaking my commitment because I wasn't committed to the new coach," Salmon explained.
Floreal, who took up his new post in June of this year, guided world number one in the 400m hurdle Sydney McLaughlin to the World Under-20 record, while he was at the University of Kentucky last season.
"Mr Flo is a good coach and it is not that I don't trust him to develop my career, it is just that I want to try something," Salmon said.