Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Eugene test for Jamaica's Russell

Published:Friday | May 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham
Janieve Russell

A lot was expected from Jamaica's Janieve Russell in the women's 400 metres hurdles last year as the Stephen Francis-coached athlete produced a personal best and then world- leading time of 53.96 seconds in early June to win the event at the Rome Diamond League.

However, the rest of the season was derailed by injury although she was still able to make it to the final of the event at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Russell will be one of five finalists from Rio who will line up in a very competitive 400m hurdles field tomorrow at the Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon. She has a season's best of 55.41 seconds but will be aiming to go well below that time to show that she is approaching her best.

She will be tested by Rio gold medallist Dalilah Muhammad, silver medallist Sara Petersen of Denmark, and bronze medallist Ashley Spencer of the United States. Czech Republic's Zuzana Hejnova, who was fourth in Rio, will also be in the field.

Apart from Spencer, who has a season's best of 54.78, the other three will be competing in the event for the first time this season, and it will be interesting to see what they do here.

Two other athletes to watch are Kori Carter and Shamier Little of the United States, who love this Hayward Track. Carter is the world leader with 54.53, while Little has a 2017 best of the 56.83.