Mature Russell unfazed by Beijing’s big stage
Competing at her first World Championships, Commonwealth Games bronze-medal winner Janieve Russell has looked the part, showing composure and confidence as she booked her spot in tomorrow's women's 400 metres hurdles final.
Russell came close to her personal-best 54.75, and seemed to have a lot in reserve, as she crossed the line in 54.78 to finish second to World Champion and gold-medal favourite Zuzana Hejnova, 54.24, with Meghan Beesley, 55.41, taking third.
The University of Technology student came off the corner in good shape and held her form, staying close to Hejnova the whole time and showing impressive maturity in her execution of the race.
"It feels pretty good, and I'm very
excited," she said. "The aim was to make all three rounds, and I'm glad I accomplished that goal. Hopefully, I can get a personal best in the final, if not a medal. If that doesn't happen, I will still be happy since it's my first World Championships.
"The Commonwealth Games certainly broadened my experience because the field is as good as the championships, because you are going against all seniors who have been to the Olympics and World Championships. So this has helped me to learn the pace and be more confident," added Russell.
"I am very pleased. It's very close to my personal best, which is why I say that in the final, I'm sure that I can do very well and come out with a personal best. So I'm really excited right now," she added.
The former Holmwood Technical standout also pointed out that having Hejnova in her semi-final did not affect her either way.
"Having her (Hejnova) did not affect me at all. I went out there telling myself that we all trained hard throughout the season; it's about who wanted it the most, and I just went out there with guts and heart," Russell said.
The women's 400m hurdles final is set for tomorrow at 8:10 p.m. (7:10 p.m. local time), and will also see Kaliese Spencer's involvement.