#Champs2023 | Russell confident ahead of monster 400 final
Holmwood Technical's Rickiann Russell will have the opportunity to complete her final season as a Class I 400-metre champion tonight and feels she can give the 17-year-old Class I record a real go as well.
Russell breezed through yesterday's semi-final round, clocking 53.78 seconds, the third-fastest time among the field behind Edwin Allen's Kacian Powell (53.63) and her main challenger, Hydel's Oneika McAnuff, who set the pace with 52.27.
But Russell was not perturbed by her time, or by her performance, saying she was only concentrating on the job at hand,
"I felt relaxed because I didn't have to run very hard. My coach just said to go out there and make the final," Russell said.
It also helped that she had one less round to compete in as a result of the number of entries in the event, which eliminated the need to have a first round.
Russell's season has been strong so far, having booked a spot on the Carifta Games team but also clocking a personal best time of 51.74 at the Central Championships on March 1.
At Champs last year, Russell finished sixth in the 400 and fifth in the 200.
When asked about the possibility of erasing Sonita Sutherland's 51.13 Class I record, which has stood since 2006, Russell said anything was possible.
From a disappointing 2022, she says that she feels that the form that she has been in this season has set her up for what she hopes will be a memorable conclusion to her high-school career.
"I am feeling confident going into the final because I have been doing well all season," Russell said.
The class one 400m finals are scheduled for 9:22 p.m.
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