Russell hopes to make use of surprise selection

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April 20, 2017

Russell hopes to make use of surprise selection

Robert Bailey

Olympic 400m hurdles finalist Janieve Russell said she is surprised by her selection for Jamaica's team to this weekend's World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, but she is ready to do her best.

Russell, who finished fifth in the final at last year's Olympic Games in Rio, is set to compete on Jamaica's 4x400m relay team. She is joined by Christine Day, Shericka Jackson, Verone Chambers, Stephanie Ann McPherson and Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby.

A former Holmwood Technical standout, Russell posted a season-best 51.94 seconds in the 400m metres at the UTech Track and Field Classics last Saturday. She will be competing at the World Relays for the first time after skipping the event two years ago.

Russell said the World Relays were not a part of her plans this season because she was focusing on August's World Championships in London.

"I was surprised that I made the team because my first 400m race wasn't as fast as a expected to be at the UWI Invitational, so I was very surprised compared to the last time when I made the team, but didn't get to go," said Russell.

"But, I am very pleased with the selection because this is my first World Relays so I am really happy to be on it," she said.

Jamaica won silver behind the United States at the 2015 event. Russell said they aim to take home the gold this year.

"Our chances this year are very good, the girls are going out there hungry. They have a big heart and I think we can get the gold medal this year," she said.

Russell, 23, is yet to compete in the 400m hurdles this season. She said the World Relays 400m will be her last for the season.

"I know that World Relays will be my last 400m for the season because I have a lot of 400m hurdles meets coming up, so I am just prepping for that right now."

Russell has her sights set on winning gold at the World Championships and said her season has been progressing well so far.

"You can expect a great performance from me. I am training very hard, I am focused and I am hoping to be injury-free, because I am working towards it and I am expecting great times coming in the hurdles," she said.

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