Salmon not distracted by personal best

October 02, 2019
Shiann Salmon on her way to a personal best time of 55.20 seconds in the women’s 400m hurdles event at the IAAF World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, yesterday.
Shiann Salmon on her way to a personal best time of 55.20 seconds in the women’s 400m hurdles event at the IAAF World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, yesterday.

Doha, Qatar:

Shiann Salmon was grateful to run her fastest time ever in the preliminary round of the women's 400m hurdles.

But the former Hydel High School athlete will not allow that to distract her from achieving her main objective of these championships, which is to become a world finalist.

Salmon had a sluggish first 200m, but ran back to finish second in 55.20 seconds. The effort erased her previous best of 55.39 set at the Jamaica Senior Championships in June.

"I am feeling very good because I was struggling with a little injury and I was able to pull through this round," she said. "I am grateful for the personal best but my main focus now is to try to get into the final.

"I think I fell asleep on the back straight away. I would be looking to push a bit harder and see if I can finish as strong."

Under the spotlight

The women's 400m hurdles is under the spotlight after Dalilah Muhammad ran a world record of 52.20 seconds at the US Trials in July. Muhammad, the reigning Olympic champion, beat the world junior record holder Sydney McLaughlin in the same race.

Both athletes qualified for today's semi-finals scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and Salmon is hoping that they could drag her below 55 seconds.

"If I should get to the final and run under the 55 seconds, it would enlighten me some more about my capabilities," She said.

Her training partner, Ronda Whyte, failed to advance as she could only manage 56.37 seconds for sixth in her heat.

National champion Rushell Clayton won her heat in 55.23 seconds.

"It was a comfortable run," Clayton said. "I just held the form that I had. I didn't have to run all the way home to get into the top three so I just held my form and come home."

- A.M.

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