Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Sweet 17th birthday for Russell

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 4:00 AMShayne Fairman
Calabar High's De'Jour Russell (left) winning the Class One 110m hurdles in a record 13.21 seconds. Oquendo Bernard (right) of Jamaica College was third and Rasheed Broadbell (centre) of St Jago High placed sixth.

Outstanding Calabar High hurdler De'Jour Russell celebrated his 17th birthday in style at the National Stadium yesterday.

Russell, who was an injury doubt for the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships, won the Class One 110 metres hurdles in a record 13.21 seconds. He demolished the mark held by last year's Olympic champion, Omar McLeod, who set the record while attending Kingston College in 2013.

Russell looked well below his best in the semi-finals on Friday morning, but yesterday, he was too hot to handle.

"I am 17 now. This is my birthday. I am glad my birthday falls on this championship because I knew I was going to do something big," an elated Russell told The Sunday Gleaner.

He said there was a lot more left in the tank.

"That (his record run) wasn't really all out. I pulled off at the fourth hurdle because my coach (Michael Clarke) said just keep the flow, and that was what I did. I was surprised I came out with the record," he reasoned.

 

SILENCE ALL DOUBTS

 

It was a first and second for Calabar in the event, and while Russell was happy with maximum points for his team, he said he felt happier to silence all doubts about his fitness.

"In the last interviews, they were asking the same question about my health. People can speculate all they want, but I know what I know. I know my body, so I just went there and tried my best, and thank God for the result," he explained.