Injury forces Russell to make late withdrawal from Finland-bound team

Observer writer

Friday, July 06, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Dejour Russell's quest to win gold medals in both the IAAF World Under-18 and Under-20 championships took a big hit when the Calabar High standout was forced to withdraw from the Jamaican team to the IAAF World Under-18 Championships which starts on Tuesday in Tampere, Finland.

Team manager Ewan Scott confirmed Russell's withdrawal to the Jamaica Observer yesterday as the team was getting ready to leave the island.

The 18-year-old could not recover in time from an injury and was subsequently left out of the team.

It is understood that Russell had gone overseas in the last week to get medical attention for a leg injury and had only returned to the country on Tuesday.

He would not be replaced on the team, Scott said, as the entries had closed last week.

Russell, who won the gold medal in the IAAF World Under-18 in Nairobi, Kenya, last year in a championships record 13.04 seconds (0.1m/s), and was a finalist at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in March, finished third in 13.26 seconds at the JAAA National Junior Championships just over two weeks ago.

Damian Thomas won in a joint World Junior record 12.99 seconds with France's Wilhelm Belocian, just ahead of Orlando Bennett who ran 13.00 seconds, third fastest ever.

Russell went into the 110m hurdles final at the last IAAF World Under-20 championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, two years ago with the fastest time, but could only manage fourth.

He was included on the 42-member team, and according to the Jamaican entries on the IAAF web site, he was one of three entries for the hurdles and was named in the relay pool for the 4x100m.

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