Sun | Sep 24, 2017

No Russell in London Diamond League line-up

Published:Tuesday | July 19, 2016 | 7:16 AM
Russell, the leading Jamaican in the women's 400m hurdles and a strong contender for a podium spot in Rio, suffered an injury in the lead-up to the National Senior Championships.

Andre Lowe, Special Projects Editor – Sports

Janieve Russell was expected to attempt to prove her fitness at this weekend's Diamond League meet in London, but there will still be doubts over her participation at the Rio Olympic Games after she was not entered to compete at the event set for Friday and Saturday.

Russell, the leading Jamaican in the women's 400m hurdles and a strong contender for a podium spot in Rio, suffered an injury in the lead-up to the National Senior Championships and was later granted a medical exemption by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).

Listed as the third fastest in the event this year, Russell – like Usain Bolt, was expected to compete in London and prove to the JAAA's selection committee that she had recovered enough to take her place in Rio.

This was first confirmed by MVP Track Club president Bruce James during television commentary at the National Senior Championships.

James confirmed to The Gleaner through a text message this morning that Russell will not be competing in London this weekend but that she is expected to compete and prove her fitness elsewhere.

He could not, however, say where the University of Technology student/athlete will line up next.

Technically, Russell has until August 8 to prove her fitness.

She is among four selected for the women's 400m by the JAAA. Only three will eventually be selected to take the track in Rio. That decision will be confirmed on August 10 at the technical meeting for track and field the Olympic Games.

Russell – the 2015 World Championships finalist, is by far the best Jamaican in the event this season with her personal best time of 53.96 only bettered by Dalilah Muhammad's, 52.88 and Shamier Little's, 53.51. Her last appearance was at the Rome Diamond League on June 2.