Williams aims to inspire
Being the first to accomplish any significant feat takes something special and Toni Ann Williams, who will become the first Jamaican in history to take the gymnastics floor when the Rio 2016 Olympic Games commences in August, has earned her place among a privileged group.
With her place at the Games secure, the 20-year-old University of California Berkeley student, credited her mental strength for her success and told STAR Sports that her aim will be to do her best with the hope that her performance will inspire a greater appreciation for the sport here.
"I never knew if I would qualify for the Olympics but I knew I could do this for Jamaica and myself. It's a huge deal it is one of my dreams and I am very excited," she said.
"My expectation is to give a 100 per cent in all four routines and do the best gymnastics I can. I will train hard, have fun, and represent Jamaica well. I hope it (performance) promotes gymnastics more in Jamaica, gets people more aware that gymnastics is another sport we can be known for and spread the love of gymnastics and help kids train and follow their dreams," she said.
Mara Rudolph, assistant athletics communications director at UC Berkeley Williams university says Williams' achievement is still being celebrated at the institution.
"Everybody is so excited. We at this great school are known for many types of sports but this is the first time we have had any gymnast qualifying for the Olympics, so it's a huge thing and it says a lot about our gymnastic programme.
At the qualifiers, Williams finished 38th overall and 16th as an individual with52.931 points in the all-around.
She posted 14.066 points on vault for her highest score to finish 24th. She finished 29th on the beam with 13.666 points and tallied 11.833 points on the bars.