Doha dream - Williams sets World Championships targets
Coach Ato Boldon has warned that his 16-year-old standout, Briana Williams, is not only pushing for a spot on Jamaica’s team to the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, this September, but is determined to make the final in her events.
Williams became Jamaica’s latest sprinting star after claiming the sprint double at the World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, last season and also won three gold medals at the CARIFTA Games.
Her times of 11.13 seconds and 22.50 seconds in the 100m and 200m, respectively, made her the joint fifth-fastest Jamaican in the 100m in 2018, along with Shericka Jackson, and the third-fastest over the longer distance, with Jackson (22.05) and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson (22.30) being the only Jamaicans to go faster than her last year.
Boldon toldSTAR Sports that the youngster is determined to secure a lane in Doha and that her programme and their approach to the season will be guided by this goal.
“Her target is definitely Doha,” Boldon stated.
“When we sat down and had our preseason meeting, Briana said that she wants to be in the final in Doha, not just make the Doha team. I told her that I agreed with it, I believe her goals should be lofty. I don’t think that someone who ran 11.13 and 11.16 into a headwind, and 22.50 last year into a headwind, should be setting her goals any lower,” Boldon said.
“She knows a lot more about the sport and the event; she is a different athlete this year,” he added. “So, that’s what we are targeting, and everything else kind of falls by the wayside.”
Boldon, the 200m gold-medal winner at the 1997 World Championships for Trinidad and Tobago, notes that they will be hand-picking her meets this season with the aim of being in the best shape for the National Senior Championships in June, which will be used to select the team to the World Championships.
“She is not running anything at her high-school state meet, she is not really running a lot of youth and Under-20 competitions. We’ll have some of that, but, for the most part, it is a question of quality races this year, not quantity, and picking our spots where we think we can set personal bests and have good races against high-quality opposition,” said Boldon. ”Then it’s all about June 20-23, coming down to Jamaica and upsetting some people who think their spot is booked, because I think Briana is going to be on that team.”