Janieve Russell

Janieve Russell (born 14 November 1993) is a Jamaican track and field athlete who competes mainly in the 400 metres hurdles and the 400 metres sprint. Her personal bests for the events are 53.46 seconds and 51.17 seconds, respectively. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games she was the 400 m hurdles bronze medallist and a 4×400 metres relay gold medallist. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games She won the 400m hurdles in a time of 54.33 seconds.

Janieve Russell
Janieve Russell at the 2016 Olympics
Personal information
Born (1993-11-14) 14 November 1993
Manchester Parish, Jamaica
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight64 kg (141 lb)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)400m hurdles

Russell was highly successful as a youth and junior level athlete. She was a nine-time gold medallist at the CARIFTA Games and a double gold medallist at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics, winning the 400 metres hurdles and the 4 × 400 m relay. She also won a relay medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics and competed at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.

She has also competed in the heptathlon and was the 2011 Jamaican champion in the event.


Early life and career

Born in Manchester, Jamaica,[1] she attended Holmwood Technical High School in Christiana and competed in a variety of track and field events while there.[2] She was in the top three of both the high jump and long jump at the Jamaican High School Championships in 2008 and made her international debut shortly after, taking the under-17 long jump silver at the 2008 CARIFTA Games.[3] She returned at the 2009 CARIFTA Games and won that title, setting a personal best of 6.06 m (19 ft 10 12 in) in the process. At the competition she was also the high jump bronze medallist, double gold medallist in the 4×100 and 4×400 metres relays, and set a games record in the 300 metres hurdles as well.[4] She was among the contenders in the long jump at the 2009 World Youth Championships in Athletics, but was twenty centimetres off her best in the final and finished in ninth place.[5]

Expanding her oeuvre, in 2010 Russell placed in the top three at the Jamaican High School in the 100 metres hurdles as well as her long jump speciality. Taking in combined track and field events, she entered the pentathlon at the 2010 CARIFTA Games and won by a margin of nearly 400 points. She still entered the long jump individually, and placed fourth.[6] The Jamaican junior championships saw her win a long jump/400 metres sprint double.[3] International junior medals followed at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, where the 16-year-old Russell took the 400 m silver medal win a personal best of 53.68 seconds and helped the Jamaican 4×400 metres relay team to the gold medals.[7] She was selected for the same events at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics. Although she was a little slower in the 400 m individual event, being eliminated in the semi-finals, she won a medal with the Jamaican team, which ran its fastest time of the year (3:32.24 minutes) to claim the bronze medals.[8] She competed internationally in her fourth different event of the season, choosing the long jump for the 2010 Youth Olympics and placing seventh in the competition.[9]

The 2011 season saw Russell set personal bests in all the disciplines she competed in, bar the jumps. She focused on the 400 metres hurdles at the start of the year, which culminated in a victory in the under-19 section of the 2011 CARIFTA Games in a personal best of 57.71 seconds. She also won relay gold with the Jamaican team at the competition.[10] In May she ran track bests of 24.10 seconds for the 200 metres and 53.55 seconds for the 400 m. In June she won her first senior title at the Jamaican Athletics Championships, winning the heptathlon with a personal best score of 5361 points, including a javelin throw best of 33.96 m (111 ft 5 in) and an 800 metres best of 2:18.47 minutes to finish the competition.[3] The 2011 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships was the biggest international event of her season and she finished with a heptathlon silver medal behind Brazil's Tamara de Souza, setting bests in the shot put and 100 metres hurdles along the way.[11]

World Junior champion

Russell began to specialise more in the hurdles in 2012. She repeated her hurdles/relay double at the 2012 CARIFTA Games and was also the long jump runner-up.[12] Her season focused on the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics. She entered as the world leader in the 400 m hurdles through her new best of 57.04 seconds at the national championships in June.[13] She was dominant at the competition and won the gold medal by a margin of over a second, setting a new best time of 56.62 seconds. This made her the second Jamaican woman to win the title, following in the footsteps of Kaliese Spencer[14] She then anchored the Jamaican 4×400 m relay team to the silver medals behind the American team.[15]

Senior career

Having finished her junior career, she gained an athletic scholarship to study at the University of Technology, Jamaica – an institution with a prominent sports programme. She continued to focus on the 400 m hurdles,[16] setting a new best of 56.30 seconds in 2013, and began training in the event under Stephen Francis at the MVP Track Club.[17] She markedly improved her performances in 2014. She knocked over a second and a half off her 400 m sprint best, running a time of 51.49 seconds in Kingston in June.[18] At the Jamaican Championships she was runner-up i the 400 m hurdles to the Kaliese Spencer, the top Jamaican and training partner. Russell's time of 54.75 seconds was almost a second improvement on her previous best.[19]

She was chosen to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (her first senior selection) and she came away with a bronze medal in the 400 m hurdles, finishing behind Spencer and host nation athlete Eilidh Child.[20] She ran in the heats of the 4×400 m relay and though she was replaced in the final, the team won the gold medals.[1]

Personal bests

International competition record

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Jamaica
2009 World Youth Championships Brixen, Italy 9th Long jump 5.86 m
2010 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U-20) Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 2nd 400 m 53.68
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:34.41
World Junior Championships Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada 21st (sf) 400 m 55.16
3rd 4 × 400 m relay 3:32.24
Youth Olympics Singapore 7th Long jump 5.83 m
2011 Pan American Junior Championships Miramar, United States 2nd Heptathlon 5352 pts
2012 World Junior Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st 400 m hurdles 56.62
2nd 4 × 400 m relay 3:32.97
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, United Kingdom 3rd 400 m hurdles 55.64
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:28.29 †
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 5th 400 m hurdles 54.65
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 5th 400 m hurdles 54.15
2017 World Relays Nassau, Bahamas 3rd 4 × 400 m relay 3:28.49
2018 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 2nd (h) 4 × 400 m relay 3:32.011
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia 1st 400 m hurdles 54.33
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:24.00
NACAC Championships Toronto, Canada 2nd 400 m hurdles 53.81
2019 World Relays Yokohama, Japan 5th 4 × 400 m relay 3:28.30
  • † = Competed in the heats of the relay only.

1Disqualified in the final

National titles
  • Heptathlon: 2010
  • 400 meter hurdles: 2015


  1. Janieve Russell. Glasgow2014. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  2. Synopsis | The Athletes & Their Mothers. Fast As She Can. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  3. Janieve Russell. Tilastopaja. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  4. More records fall in 2009 CARIFTA Games – Day 3. IAAF (13 April 2009). Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
  5. Janieve Russell. IAAF. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  6. 2010 CARIFTA Games. World Junior History. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  7. 2010 CAC Junior Championships. World Junior Athletics History. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  8. 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics. World Junior Athletics History. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  9. 2010 Summer Youth Olympics – Girl's Long Jump Final A Archived 25 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Singapore2010. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  10. 2011 CARIFTA Games. World Junior Athletics History. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  11. Results – 2011 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Athletics Canada . Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  12. Weather improves to allow records to highlight last day of CARIFTA Games. IAAF (10 April 2012). Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
  13. 400 Metres Hurdles – women – junior – outdoor – 2012. IAAF. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  14. Arcoleo, Laura (14 July 2012). Barcelona 2012 – Event Report – Women's 400m Hurdles Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
  15. Arcoleo, Laura (15 July 2012). Barcelona 2012 – Event Report – Women's 4x400m Relay Final. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
  16. Bolt and Powell breeze through heats at Jamaican Champs. IAAF (21 June 2013). Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
  17. Russell aims for next level . Jamaica Star (15 February 2013). Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
  18. Janieve Russell runs 51.48 PB at JAAA All Comers Meet. Track Alerts. Retrieved on 12 August 2014.
  19. Spencer gets WL; VCB, Ashmeade win 100m titles at Jamaica Trials. Track Alerts (28 June 2014). Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
  20. Commonwealth Games round-up: Amos stuns Rudisha to take gold in 800m final. Talk Sport (31 July 2014). Retrieved on 2014-08-12.
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