Russell glad for PB at Shanghai Diamond League
Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles gold medal winner Janieve Russell has come away from the Shanghai leg of the IAAF Diamond League meet with a smile on her face, even though she did not win. Russell lost a battle to Olympic 400m hurdles champion Dahlilah Muhammad, but is happy with her personal best of 53.78 seconds.
Speaking in Shanghai just after the race on May 12, Russell said, "I was nervous today because I had a little problem with my leg, but I just wanted to be proud of myself." Her assessment is that the effort to catch Muhammad spurred her to go fast. "I didn't start the race as I wanted," analysed the 2016 Olympic finalist, "but the battle at the end with Muhammad helped me a lot to run this time."
Her big finish lowered her best from 53.96 seconds, and continued her steady improvement from her days as 2012 World Junior champion. Noting that Muhammad had arrived in Shanghai with a season's best of 55.08, the Jamaican offered, "I knew I was under pressure, as she is in shape, and I had to do a lot of work to catch up with her."
The MVP Track Club athlete is riding high after moving up from third in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, to gold at the 2018 renewal in Australia last month.
"Winning gold at the Commonwealth Games last month gives me confidence," she explained, "and this shows I train very hard."
Her fruits of her labour were first seen in 2018 at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, in Birmingham, England, in March. Running for Jamaica's 4x400m relay team, she hurried through her leg in 50.51 seconds.
The 24-year-old will be in action at the Jamaica International Invitational Meet at the National Stadium this Saturday.