Jamaica's team to the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships is blessed with only one individual world leader in female team captain Janieve Russell.
Russell's time of 57.04 seconds, which she ran in the prelims at Senior Trials late last month, is the fastest time by a female at the junior level in the 400 metres hurdles this year. Her time bettered the previous World Junior leading time of 57.22 held by Adekoya Kemi of Nigeria.
"The Senior Trials were a part of my mental test because we are going up against the World," Russell disclosed. "I went against a great field at trials, so I was just using that to prepare for World Juniors and I think I am prepared."
The Holmwood Technical High School head girl's exploits have earned her the favourite tag coming into the Championships.
"I feel there is additional pressure for me to deliver because Jamaica on a whole is looking forward to great things from me and for me to get the gold medal, because I am the World leader," Russell said.
"I am just going out there with confidence and hope I can execute on the day," she added.
The 18-year-old is no stranger to the big stage, having represented Jamaica at the previous World Junior Championships where she did not get past the semi-final, the 2010 Youth Olympics at which she didn't pass the quarter-finals and the 2009 World Youth Championships, which saw her finish down the field in the final.
She has enjoyed an injury-free season and the Maurice Wilson-coached athlete is grateful for that.
"The preparations have been great; coach Wilson has paid keen attention to me and I hope I can execute the techniques he has given me over the past few months."
Russell is set to get a taste of competition on tomorrow's second day, when she turns out in the heats.