The Jamaican gold rush at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games continued yesterday as Janieve Russell became the latest athlete to win a final inside the Cararra Stadium for the country.
Russell finished first in the women’s 400m hurdles final and that win, along with a bronze for Jaheel Hyde in the men’s equivalent and silver for Shericka Jackson in the women’s 200m final, meant another suite of medals on consecutive nights for Jamaica.
For a third night in a row, the first final contested on the track was won by a Jamaican as Russell, the 2014 Glasgow Games bronze medallist, ran a perfectly timed race to win in 54.33 seconds, ahead of the 2014 silver medallist Eilidh Doyle of Scotland in 54.80 and the South African Wenda Nel, who finished third in 54.96.
Russell was level with Nel, who was on her outside coming off the final turn, and took the lead heading into the straight away. She surged to the front and kept opening up a gap on the field before coasting home to victory.
Doyle earned her third silver medal in a row at the Commonwealth Games after she passed Nel, while the South African secured the bronze medal when she edged out another Jamaican, Rhonda Whyte, out of the medals. The fast-finishing Whyte had to settle for fourth in 55.02s.
The 2017 World Championships bronze medallist Ristananna Tracey finished in eight place in a time of 57.50s. Tracey had suffered from chest pains following her run in the heats two days ago.
For Russell, winning gold at the games made up for the disappointments she suffered in 2017.
“First of all, I have to give God thanks because if it wasn’t for Him I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t get the chance to train hard and come back this year. From 2014, I was just fresh out of high school. It was my first senior team and it was a surprise bronze medal for me because I was just going through the motions preparing for World Championships in 2015, so that bronze medal was a surprise.
“This year I just came back to say that I had a downfall in 2017, not making the World Champs team. So I am really focusing on learning to be patient, listening to my body, listening to my coach, my teammates, managers, family and friends; that is what helped me today to get that gold medal,” she noted.
Russell’s time in the final was slower than the heats, but she explained just why that happened.
“Tonight I wanted to go a little bit faster, not finding any excuses — but I was feeling a little cramp in my hamstring, so that really threw off my race plan. I wasn’t really attacking my hurdles how I wanted to attack them, but when I felt that contraction coming on I just wanted to secure that gold medal for myself and my country,” she said.
Photos: Getty Images
Source: Jamaica Observer