Wilson buoyed by female 400m hurdles crop

June 24, 2016

Maurice Wilson says that MVP Track Club coach Stephen Francis is doing a great job with 400 metre hurdler Janeive Russell.

Wilson, who coached Russell when she was at Holmwood Technical High School, believes she can become one of the world's best. He is also of the opinion that Kaliese Spencer is on her way back to good form.

"I think she can be one of the best hurdlers in the world," Wilson said of 22-year-old Russell.

Itemising Russell's speed and versatility, he added: "She has a wide range in all events, so she has good balance, so I'm expecting a lot from her."

Russell ended her Holmwood years as 2012 World Junior champion and since then has won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal and last year placed fifth at the World Championships.

Undefeated this season, the former Holmwood head girl is the fastest Jamaican in 2016 at 53.96 seconds.

That was the best time in the world until American Shamier Little churned out a swift clocking of 53.51 seconds to win the US collegiate title on June 11.

Little succeeded Russell as World Junior Champion in 2014 and was second last year at the World Championships.

Eight Jamaicans have surpassed the Olympic Games qualifying standard of 56.20 seconds, prompting Wilson to wish that more than three of them could compete in the Games.

"I'm only disappointed that we don't have four or five for these young ladies to get the opportunity to participate," he said.

Noting that 2014 Commonwealth winner Kaliese Spencer has a time of 55.02 seconds for the event this season, he said, "She's not necessarily where she was before, but it's obvious that she's getting there," he said."

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