Coach brands Russell age group world's best

March 10, 2017
Dejour Russell from Calabar High winning heat one of the class one boys 110 metre hurdles of the Youngster Goldsmith Track and Field meet at the National Stadium on January 28.

Veteran hurdles coach Raymond Graham, who helped condition Olympic 110 metres hurdles champion Omar McLeod as a schoolboy, believes Calabar High School hurdler Dejour Russell is the best in his age group in the world right now.

Russell reached the finals the 110m hurdles at the 2016 World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.




Graham believes the athlete can go faster than the 13.20 seconds he clocked at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships.

"I was there (Poland), and when I saw him come out of the blocks last, he was flying for fourth. He's the best in the world in his age group, he deserved to win that World Under-20.

"It's unfortunate and I felt it for him because after seeing the heats and the semi-finals and he ranked number one in the world," Graham said.

Russell, up to that point, had seldom hurdled over barriers set at the 39 inches, which is reserved for Class One boys in Jamaica and for Under-20 boys internationally. In Class Two and internationally, for Under-18 boys, the hurdle height is 36 inches.

Russell equalled the Boys and Girls' Championships Class Two record of 13.45 seconds earlier in that same 2016 season.

Graham compared Russell to McLeod.

"I worked with Omar at KC and he's now a World champion and an Olympic champion, and I see Dejour in a few years reaching the same pinnacle," he said.

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