Olympic 110-metre hurdles bronze medallist Hansle Parchment has decided to go professional and has signed an endorsement contract with apparel company Puma.
Parchment created history at the London when he captured Jamaica's first Olympic medal in the 110m hurdles event.
Parchment also lowered the national record twice during the Olympic Games, first in the semi-finals with a run of 13.14 seconds, followed by a gritty 13.12 in the final for third behind the USA's pair of Aries Merritt (12.92) and Jason Richardson (13.04).
Parchment's manager and Olympian, Juliet Campbell, stated in a press release that Parchment's decision will in no way impact his studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), where he is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.
Following his success at the World University Games in Shenzen, China, where he captured the 110m hurdles, Parchment was named UWI's Sportsman of the Year for winning the event in 13.24.
The St Thomas-born, former Morant Bay High School and Kingston College student will also continue to be coached by the UWI's head coach Fitz Coleman.
Meanwhile, the UWI's director of sports, Dalton Myers, has hailed Parchment for his outstanding performance at the Games. "The University of the West Indies, Mona, congratulates Hansle Parchment on his outstanding performance at the 2012 London Olympics after securing a bronze medal in the men's 110m hurdles. We salute you," Myers said in a press release.
He added: "We have quite a competent staff and they complement our programmes,'' he said. "Our student athletes come in with raw talent and we turn them into superstars in their sport, and academics as well.''
Parchment is set compete in meets in Poland, Switzerland and Britain ahead of his return to Jamaica on September 9.