Salmon banking on experience to lengthen strides at global level
FOR 400-metre hurdler Shiann Salmon, the 2022 season is like a glass half-full. On one hand, Salmon was overjoyed to finish with a win at last week’s NACAC Open Championships in Freeport, Bahamas. On the other hand, she believes she needs more...
FOR 400-metre hurdler Shiann Salmon, the 2022 season is like a glass half-full. On one hand, Salmon was overjoyed to finish with a win at last week’s NACAC Open Championships in Freeport, Bahamas. On the other hand, she believes she needs more experience to contend with the best when it counts the most.
She finished strongly to beat accomplished teammate Janieve Russell for the first time in 54.22 seconds.
“The main thing that I take away from this season is that I’m lacking in experience and I need to, like, improve on that area. But each race that I’ve run this season, I’ve gotten bette,r so I’m extremely grateful with that,” the former Hydel High School track and field captain stated on Monday.
The NACAC victory ended a campaign, where she reached the World Championships semi-finals in Eugene, Oregon, and grabbed silver behind Russell at the Commonwealth Games.
With the 2023 World Championships now the target, Salmon wants to improve.
“I think for next year the main thing that I need to work on is getting into some big races. It cannot be that the first big race I’m gonna run is at the World Championships. So we’re definitely working on meeting these big people prior to these big games, you know, getting experience, knowing how this person runs, that person runs, and just like getting that intense competition before the actual Games,” she enumerated.
So far in 2022, the 400 hurdles has been contested in Birmingham, Rome, Oslo and Stockholm, but Salmon hasn’t been able to compete in those races. She and her coach, 1996 Olympic bronze medallist Tonja Buford-Bailey, will be seeking the races the Jamaican needs to be ready for the world next season.
Salmon set a personal best of 53.82 to nab the runner-up position at the National Championships. In Eugene, at the World Championships, she clocked 54.16 in her semi and was cut adrift.
“The time that I ran at the Trials,” she reflected, “that was a time in the past that could challenge for a medal, but where the game is at this point in time, 53s, that’s needed to make the finals. So the event is getting more competitive, and I’ve got to just roll with the punches. And I’m going back to the drawing board, and I’m going to work harder than I worked this year and hopefully, next year, I’ll do what’s expected of me.”
In Eugene, seven of the finalists ran sub-54.
American Sydney McLaughlin dominated the final with a stunning world record, 50.68 seconds, on July 22. A month later, Salmon is still awed by McLaughlin’s performance.
“When I hear that time, I do not associate it with the hurdles. That is just such a phenomenal time, it’s almost unbelievable that it’s over hurdles. But the event is in a new place,” the soft-spoken Jamaican evaluated.