Hurdler Russell happy despite finishing outside the medals in World Record raceThursday, August 05, 2021
TOKYO, Japan — It is not often someone finishes one place outside the medal podium and is extremely satisfied with his/her result.
That's the message Janieve Russell sent when she spoke to the media following her fourth-place finish in the fastest women's 400m hurdles event ever contested.
Like Norway's Karsten Warholm and company did in the men's equivalent the previous day when they smashed the world record, the American pair of Sydney McLaughlin (51.46secs) and Dalilah Muhammad (51.58secs) lowered the world record with a splendid display of hurdling on Wednesday.
Third place went to Femke Bol of the Netherlands in an Area record 52.03secs. Russell, who entered the race telling everybody that she would be satisfied with a personal best and an even greater target of 52-plus, realised the personal best with 53.08secs in a well-controlled race, where she didn't get offset by the speed and aggression of the big three.
“I know it was a really, really good race, I know it was a world record race — I didn't expect it to be that fast because I predicted 51.7, but I'm just really glad that I'm a part of history,” a relieved Russell said.
“Personally, I just wanted to go out there, listen to the script, keep my composure because I know it was going to be a hot race; people expect a lot, but my expectation mattered the most and I'm just really happy that I came out with a personal best.”
The 27-year-old two-time Olympic Games finalist is also pleased with the manner in which she was able to hold her concentration in those last few minutes ahead of the race.
“I just kept on talking to myself, recapping previous years that I didn't focus on myself, got focused on others and focus on others' expectations (of her) and I was saying at the line that I have nothing to lose, only to gain. I'm a two-time Olympian, two-time finalist, against the best of the best, I'm in the final and I deserve to be here and I just have to execute.”
And even in the midst of enjoying the personal best in a final which was run in a world record, Russell still found time to be critical of her performance.
“I messed up on hurdle 10 and I know it took off a couple seconds; it would have been a 52.8 or 52.9 high pace for me, so I'm just really happy.
“I know that my season isn't finished and that's why I'm so upbeat because I know I can run that 52 and I am going to continue to work hard — take some days off, get back on the track and I'm going to run that 52,” she promised.
And though the big three are at another level of hurdling over 400m, Russell believes that she will eventually get on that plane.
“They are all humans, they have the same muscles like we, they have the same blood running through their veins, it just takes hard work and dedication and I have both of that; I just have to be patient with myself, within the programme and I know I can be at the top…I'm determined to get a medal and it's not over yet,” she vowed.