Despite being a major doubt due to injury, Jaheel Hyde, the past World and Youth Olympic 110-metre hurdles champion, thinks Dejour Russell is heading for big things at the 2017 staging of Boys and Girls’ Championships (Champs), should the 16-year-old compete this week. Speaking at the recent Carifta Trials, Hyde described the Calabar Class 1 athlete as fantastic. Hyde and Russell were teammates at last year’s World Under-20 Championships, where the former defended his 400m hurdles title and the latter stunned with a time of 13.20 seconds in the 110m hurdles preliminary round before placing fourth in the final. That time is 0.04 faster than the Champs record set by current Olympic champion Omar McLeod while he was at Kingston College (KC) in 2013. Though a slow start doomed Russell in the World Under-20 final, he had rarely hurdled over the 36-inch height used for that age group. As a Class 2 athlete last year, he negotiated hurdles set at a height of 33 inches, the same as those which Hyde flew over to set the world best of 12.96 seconds in 2014. Hyde revealed, “I actually spoke to him last week,” the former Wolmerian said, “and, you know, I gave him some pointers because, you know, they are records and records should be broken, and if anybody should be breaking a record, I think it should be him.” Describing Russell as a friend, he asserted, “So I think he’s a fantastic athlete and I think he will get it this year.” Not only could Russell break McLeod’s Champs record, but at this year’s World Under-18 Championships, he could make a run at the 13 second barrier. ‘BEST IN THE WORLD’ Hyde isn’t the only one to see the potential in the Calabar boy. Earlier in the season, veteran hurdles coach Raymond Graham offered the same sentiment. He labelled Russell ‘the best in the world in his age group’ and likened him to McLeod, whom Graham coached at KC. “I worked with Omar at KC”, he said, “and he’s now a World champion, Olympic champion and I see Dejour in a few years reaching the same pinnacle.” So far this season, Russell has run 13.31 seconds in the under 18 event and 13.45 with the barriers set at the Under-20 Class 1 height. Unfortunately, reports have emerged on the eve of Champs of an injury niggle that will rule Russell out of the class 1 110m where he was also favoured for a medal.
Two people hurt in shooting WHITTIER – Two people were shot and wounded while sitting in front of an apartment complex Friday, officials said. The attack was reported just after 4 p.m. in the 7200 block of Whittier Avenue, said Whittier police Sgt. Dan Lowe. The two victims were drinking beer in front of an apartment building when a suspect vehicle parked in a nearby alley, Lowe said. An unknown number of suspects got out of the vehicle before opening fire on the victims, said Lowe. One of the victims was struck in the hip and the other in the leg, he said. The wounds were not believed to be life-threatening, said Lowe. Women killed when struck by pickup LA MIRADA – An 84-year-old woman was struck and killed by a pickup truck Friday while crossing Santa Gertrudes Avenue, officials said. The incident occurred about 5:40 p.m. on Santa Gertrudes Avenue at Silvergrove Drive, just north of Imperial Highway, said Norwalk sheriff’s Lt. Al Reyes. The elderly pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene, Reyes said. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene, said Reyes. Officials did not immediately see any signs of drunken driving or other wrongdoing, said Reyes. The crash remained under investigation late Friday. Three men rob women near Whittier WHITTIER – Three men in trenchcoats robbed a woman Friday on Colima Road, officials said. The robbery was reported about 4:45 p.m. on Colima Road at Telegraph Road in an unincorporated county area near Whittier, said Norwalk sheriff’s Lt. Al Reyes. The three suspects, described as men ranging from 18 to 40 years old, approached the woman and grabbed her purse, Reyes said. The 20-year-old woman struggled to hold on to her purse, but the suspects wrestled it away from her, said Reyes. The robbers then removed the woman’s money, about $100, from the purse before throwing it back at her, Reyes said. The thieves were seen fleeing the area in a white 4-door compact car, Reyes added. The victim was not injured in the incident, he said. Rural accident kills three people SANTA MARGARITA – Three people died in the mangled wreckage of a Ford Escort after the driver lost control on rural Highway 58 and slammed into an oncoming van just east of Santa Margarita. The Escort was headed west on the two-lane highway Thursday night and when the car drifted off the side of the road. When the driver overcorrected, the car spun into oncoming traffic and was broadsided by the minivan. The California Highway Patrol says the driver and two passengers were killed on impact. The female driver of the van is hospitalized at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center with major injuries. Psychologist arrested in rape SANTA BARBARA – A Santa Barbara County psychologist has been arrested for allegedly raping a female patient three years ago. Fernando Cordero allegedly attacked the 44-year-old woman while he was working for Santa Barbara County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services. The alleged victim told investigators last month that the 65-year-old psychologist seduced her more than three years ago when she was a patient at a county facility in Santa Maria. Cordero has been released on $100,000 bail. Mayor joins foot chase of robber TEMECULA – Mayor Chuck Washington joined the foot chase for a knife-wielding robber who filched a bottle of OxyContin at a Temecula pharmacy. Washington was paying for a flu shot at a CVS pharmacy Wednesday night when the man burst in and grabbed the bottle of pills. The mayor and several others pursued the robber as he fled the store. Another bystander got the license plate number on the robber’s car. Mark Hughes was arrested a short time later. Washington dismisses characterizations of his reaction as heroic, saying, “I didn’t tackle anybody, wrestle anybody to the ground. I kept a discreet distance. I lost the guy after he got outside.” Panel approves desalination plant SAN DIEGO – California’s state Coastal Commission has tentatively approved a proposal to build a desalination plant Carlsbad to turn millions of gallons of seawater into drinking water. Thursday’s 9-3 vote followed hours of tense debate between developers who say San Diego needs to make use of its local water resources and environmentalists who say the project will damage marine life. The commission’s staff recommended denying a permit. – From wire reports160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!