Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Calabar's ace hurdler may go pro this year

Published:Saturday | April 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/ Gleaner Writer

Calabar's ace hurdler De'Jour Russell may have already competed in his last race at the annual ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships.

The 18-year-old Class One champion who went on to reach the final of the 110m hurdles event at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, told The Gleaner this week that a decision on whether he will hit the professional circuit will be made at the end of the season.

"I will make a decision this year as to whether or not I will go back to school or go professional, but the main focus right now is school," said Russell, who finished eighth in the final at the Commonwealth Games.

"I am just waiting on the right time to make it (decision) public," Russell said.

He added that he is grateful for the opportunity to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games because it has given him a lot of confidence going into this year's IAAF World Under-20 Championships, which will be held July 10-15 in Tampere, Finland

"I learnt (at the Games) that once you are on the world stage it is every man for himself and this experience will give me a lot of confidence going forward in my career," Russell said.

"When I saw that I had finished eighth, I was a bit disappointed. But when I went back to my hotel, I told myself that I was the youngest in the field and nobody had done this before," he said.

"I wanted to be on the podium, but it is all about God's timing. Now I am just happy that I was able to finish the race healthy," Russell stated.

Russell, the reigning IAAF World Under-18 champion, was fourth in the event at the last World Under-20 Championships.