JAAA's boss confident Briana will stay put

July 20, 2018
File World Under-20 100m gold medallist Briana Williams and coach Ato Boldon (left) in Tampere, Finland.
Dr Warren Blake

Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president, Dr Warren Blake, is confident World Under-20 sprint sensation, Briana Williams, will not switch allegiance to arch-rivals and athletics powerhouse United States when she becomes a senior athlete in the near future.

There have been concerns in some quarters that the 16-year-old United States-born sprinter, who recently became only the fourth athlete, the second female, to win a sprint double at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships, will join US track and field as it will be better for her career.

But Blake refuted that argument, saying that the youth prodigy and her mother were not influenced or coerced into representing Jamaica. He said they both willingly made the decision to represent Jamaica and he does not believe she will switch loyalties when she graduates from the junior ranks.

"I am not concerned about that (switching allegiance). If it was a possibility, she wouldn't have come to us (initially). She and her mother actually chose to represent Jamaica," he said.




"They had all the opportunities to let her represent the United States and they didn't. So I don't see why I must make that a major concern at this time. They made the decision without any prompting or convincing. So I don't expect her to do that," he said.

The JAAA boss also praised Williams for her outstanding achievement at the just-concluded championships.

"Her performance was very good. It was the fourth time in history that someone had won the sprint double at the World Juniors and the second time by a Jamaican, the first being Veronica Campbell-Brown," he noted.

Williams, who is coached by former Trinidadian sprint star, Ato Boldon, clocked 22.50 seconds to win the 200 metres in a championship record to complete the sprint double after she had earlier upset American Twanisha Terry to win the 100 metres in 11.16 seconds

The Carifta Games Under-17 sprint champion, was born and raised in the US but her parents are Jamaicans, which makes her eligible to represent both countries.

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