Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Russell targets 54 seconds by Trials

Published:Tuesday | May 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy
Jamaica's Janieve Russell (left) clears the hurdle almost simultaneously with the United States' Kori Carter, in the women's 400-metre hurdles at Saturday's Jamaica International Invitational meet at the National Stadium. Carter won in 55.12 seconds, with Russell second in 55.29.

Jamaica's 2014 Common-wealth Games bronze medallist Janieve Russell is aiming to be a 54-second hurdler by the time the National Championships come around in June as she aims to book a spot to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, China.

It is partly why she had mixed feelings after her season-best run in the 400-metre hurdles at the Jamaica International Invitational at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Russell, 21, who attends the University of Technology (UTech) and is the Inter-collegiate champion, produced a season-best 55.29 for second behind American Kori Carter (55.12). It was the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.

The former Holmwood Technical star athlete was involved in a three-way battle down the home stretch but eventually yielded to Carter. She managed to hold off Tiffany Williams, the other American in the race, who finished third in 55.35.

room for improvement

"I am kind of disappointed. I don't feel that I ran how I should have run as coach explained to me. My first 200m was pretty good, but I feel I can do much better, so I am pretty excited going down into the season to see what I can do for the World Championships trials and at the games," she said.

"I want to run 54.00 in time for the National Championships and go on to the World Championships.

"I wanted to go a little faster, but I guess I will take this time for now then go back to practice and work on what needs to be worked on. I need to be turning over a little more. It's only my third race, so I am not race sharp. So I am going to go back to practice and work on my next race."

The podium finish in Glasgow last year, she said, has provided a platform for her to achieve greater goals.

"I always tell myself I have competed in bigger fields than this, and being a bronze medallist on my first senior team has pushed me to do a lot more," she said.

It also helps a lot that she trains with the 2014 Commonwealth champion, Kaliese Spencer, one of the fastest women ever in the discipline.

"She motivates me; that's an A-plus. Every race we run together, she always says, ''Jellyfish', just go out there and execute, don't worry about any times. Just go out and do your best'."