Olympics: Russell targets new PB in super hot 400m hurdles finalTuesday, August 03, 2021
TOKYO, Japan — Janieve Russell would like to win a medal when the dust settles at the end of the women's 400m hurdles here tomorrow morning (tonight Jamaica time).
But the more realistic ambition of Jamaica's lone representative is a new personal best time (53.46 seconds) or even to enter the highly acclaimed 52-second club.
“What I really want to accomplish is to come out with a personal best. The same composure I kept in the semi-finals, whether I'm going to be passed or not I just want to keep a level head, push through the line, fight and come out with a personal best,” stressed Russell after her second-place finish in the semi-finals on Monday.
Then she was safe distance second to Dalilah Muhammad of the US who won in 53.30 seconds, to Russell's 54.10 seconds.
The 27-year-old now competing in the final of her second Olympics, said her main objective in Monday's semi-final was to book her ticket to the race where the medals are distributed.
“The main objective was to get the top two spot and get into the final,” she said while explaining that she had to concentrate to ward off distractions such as the rains which passed over suddenly.
“I think I went out slower than I did in the heats but I will continue to stick with the script and I believe if I continue with that I will be with a personal best in the final.”
Like the men's 400m hurdles final which ended in a new World Record today, the women's could very well end in a similar fashion.
The event is stacked with the current World Record holder and world number one ranked American Sydney McLaughlin (51.90 seconds), world number two ranked compatriot Muhammad (52.16 seconds), and world number three ranked Feme Bol of The Netherlands with 52.37 seconds. For good measure add the world number six ranked Anna Ryzhykova of Ukraine (52.96 seconds). Russell is ranked 10th.
Still, Russell has hopes of going below her personal best and whatever comes with that time, she is prepared to accept it, knowing she has prepared rigorously.
“I think I was stronger than I was in the Trials. I jumped a little at the last hurdle, but it wasn't that evident like previous races, so I feel I'm getting there.
“I was shocked with the time I won Trials with, personally, I wasn't looking for any time (fast), I just wanted the top three spot because it doesn't make sense thinking about time and I'm not in the top three.”
She had a little mishap at the training camp in Italy where she fell and cut her knee and it was swollen. Since joining up with the delegation in Japan she says she has been treated by Dr Jones and the swelling has subsided and she's pleased with where she is now.
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