Eighteen-year-old Janieve Russell, captain of Jamaica’s team to the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships, today gave the country its second gold medal in the Championships when she won the women’s 400m hurdles final in a new world-leading and personal best (PB) of 56.62secs. Her previous PB was a world leading 57.04secs.
Her victory on the penultimate day of the Championships lifted the morale of the Jamaicans who saw teammate and hot favorite for the 200m gold Julian Forte pull up injured in yesterday’s 200m final after establishing a commanding lead. Russell said later that she did it for Forte who asked her for a win for him.
But perhaps it was the scorching sprint relay leg by Jamaica’s Jazeel Murphy (pictured at left) that will be talked about for a long time. In anchoring the team without Forte, Murphy collected the baton with a big deficit and stormed the field to take the silver medal behind the USA.
The squad of Jevaughn Minzie, Odean Skeen, Tyquendo Tracey, and Murphy stopped the clock at of 38.97secs and erase Jamaica’s national junior record of 39.05 set in 2006.
The USA registered a world junior leading 38.67, and Japan claimed bronze in 39.02. Pre-race favorite Great Britain, with 100m champion Adam Gemili on anchor, was disqua
lified. (See race in Media)