Sat | Sep 23, 2023

Rushell Clayton expects to go faster

Published:Tuesday | August 16, 2022 | 12:09 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Rushell Clayton
Rushell Clayton

HAVING CLOCKED a massive personal best time in her last competitive race, 400-metre hurdler Rushell Clayton says she is in the shape of her life and intends to run much faster before the season ends.

Clayton, who finished fourth at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, clocked 53.33 seconds to win at the Monaco Diamond League last Wednesday.

She erased her previous best time of 53.63, which she set in the semifinals at this year’s World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July.

The 29-year-old Clayton, who is coached by Reynaldo Walcott at the Elite Performance Track Club, said she has been working on her technique this season, and it is now paying off.

“I am hoping to go much faster, and that is why you run in order to get better,” said Clayton.

“I am in a great place, and the results show exactly that, and I am looking forward to even faster races in the future,” she said.

Clayton defeated a very strong field in Monaco, including her compatriot and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell, who was second in a season’s best time of 53.52 seconds, with Gianna Woodruff of Panama third in 54.13.

Clayton, who won a bronze medal in the event at the 2019 World Championships, pointed out that she was very happy with what she considered a well-executed race.

“I am extremely happy because it is always good to run faster each time you run, and I think that I executed a good race, and I was rewarded for that,” she said.

“The season has been awesome because it is the best I ever had, and it is not over yet and so I am looking forward to the races that are coming at the back end of the season,” Clayton said.

Clayton considers the season her best despite finishing sixth at Hayward Field in Eugene back in July.

Her coach also says this season has produced improvements despite the fact that she did not end up on the podium at the World Championships.

“She became the fifth fastest Jamaican (all time) in her last race the other day, so I just think that the sky’s the limit for her,” said Walcott.

“I think that she definitely has the potential to go way faster.

“She has been doing well for herself and I think that in some areas, she should surpass what she would have expected to do this year,” he said.

“In other areas she may be somewhat disappointed because, you know, everybody wants to place as high as they can in the championships (World Championships).”