Big plans for Russell, Thompson

by

June 04, 2016
Jamaica's Janieve Russell capturing the women's 400m hurdles event at Thursday's Diamond League meet in Rome. Russell clocked a world leading and personal best 53.96 seconds inside Rome's Olympic Stadium.
South Africa's Caster Semenya crosses the finish line after winning the the women's 800m event at the Golden Gala IAAF athletic meeting, in Rome's Olympic stadium, on Thursday, June 2. (AP Photo)
South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk (second right) runs on his way to win the men's 400m event at the Golden Gala IAAF athletic meeting, in Rome's Olympic stadium. (AP Photoa)
Justin Gatlin, of the United States, right, flanked by France's Jimmy Vicaut, wins the men's 100m event at the Golden Gala athletic meeting, at Rome's Olympic stadium, on Thursday. (AP Photo)
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ROME, Italy:

Janieve Russell says she is hoping to become the next great Jamaican athlete in the 400m hurdles and her impressive win at the Golden Gala Rome Diamond League will leave little doubt about this becoming a reality.

The 2012 world junior champion says she is not getting carried away underlining that the real test will come in August, where she hopes to emulate Deon Hemmings and Melaine Walker as podium-topping women 400m hurdlers at the Olympic Games.

"Melaine Walker has been a gold medallist at the highest level, so too Deon Hemmings and I want to keep that tradition alive at the Olympics. If I don't finish with the gold, I want to finish in the top three to underline to the world that Jamaica has a tradition of excellent quarter-mile hurdlers, I want to keep that tradition alive," Russell told STAR Sports.

Meanwhile, Minutes after posting her second fastest time in the 100m, Elaine Thompson said she is growing in confidence in the event and while she hopes to attempt the sprint double this year.

The Jamaican clocked 10.87 (+0.8) a time only bettered by her 10.84, recorded at the Prefontaine Classic last year, as she won at the Golden Gala Rome Diamond League ahead of Americans English Gardner, 10.92 and Barbara Pierre, 11.13.

Nonetheless, the athlete, while admitting that she would love to attempt both the 100m and the 200m at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, is more than happy to focus on whatever her coach decides is best for her at this point.

"I want to (run the 100m at the Olympics) but its (my focus will be on) whatever's best for me right now," Thompson said.

"I am very comfortable in the 100m. I feel that it is getting better and better each time I race and it will continue to improve the more I race," added Thompson.

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