Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Russell not competing in London - Jamaica’s top 400m female hurdler will have to prove fitness for Olympics elsewhere

Published:Wednesday | July 20, 2016 | 7:29 AMAndre Lowe
Russell

Leading Jamaican female 400m hurdler Janieve Russell will not be competing at the London Diamond League as expected.

Still, she has until August 8 to prove her fitness ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Russell was not listed to compete at the meet – which she was expecting to use to prove her fitness ahead of the Olympics, after she received a medical exemption from the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), following an injury in the buildup to the National Senior Championships.

Each country will have to submit the final declaration of entries before August 8, as outlined by Olympic regulations.

The MVP Track Club, to which the athlete is attached, had indicated to the JAAA that Russell would be competing at the London Diamond League, with that meet designated as her opportunity to show that she had recovered sufficiently from her setback.

President of the MVP Track Club, Bruce James, had confirmed this information and yesterday told The Gleaner that the University of Technology student will not run at the London Diamond League this week and that she will compete and prove her fitness elsewhere.

He did not, however, say where the 2015 World Championships finalist would line up next.

Russell, the top Jamaican athlete in the women’s 400m hurdles and a strong contender for a podium spot in Rio, is listed as the third fastest in the event this year.

She is among four selected for the women’s 400m by the JAAA.

THREE SELECTEES

However, 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 at the Olympic Games.

Russell is by far the best Jamaican in the event this season, with her personal best time of 53.96 only bettered by Dalilah Muhammad, 52.88 and Shamier Little, 53.51.

Her last appearance was at the Rome Diamond League on June 2.

Several other Jamaicans had received medical exemption for the National Senior Championships.

Usain Bolt pulled out of the meet after injuring his hamstring in the 100m semi-final and as a result missed both the 100m and 200m finals. He will run in the 200m at the London Diamond League on Friday in a bid to show his fitness.

Elaine Thompson also missed the women’s 200m final after complaining of discomfort in her hamstring and receiving a medical exemption.

London 2012 110m hurdles bronze medal winner, Hansle Parchment, also missed the trials due to injury and was granted an exemption. He is scheduled to compete in Brussels this Saturday.