Briana Williams adapts to new training regimen with coach John Smith in pursuit of Olympic dream

By May 13, 2024

Jamaica's Olympic relay gold medalist, Briana Williams, is adjusting to a new training program under the guidance of veteran coach John Smith in California while remaining steadfast in her goal of securing a spot on Jamaica's team for the Paris Olympic Games this summer.

Williams encountered a challenging season in 2023, contending with injuries after transitioning from Coach Ato Boldon in Miramar, Florida to Titans International in Jamaica, where she was coached by Gregory Little and Michael Frater. Following the split of her coaches late in 2023, Williams continued under Coach Frater until making the decision to join Coach John Smith's program in March this year.

Smith, who currently coaches Marie Jose Ta Lou Smith, the fastest woman from Africa and a two-time World Championship silver medalist, brings a wealth of expertise to Williams' training regimen. Ta Lou Smith provided a glimpse of what Williams could become by winning the 100m in 10.91 at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, where Williams achieved a season's best of 11.39, finishing seventh.

The time reflected a significant improvement on her 11.54 season opener at the Occidental Invitational in Los Angeles just over a week ago.

Reflecting on her transition to Coach Smith's program, Williams emphasized her commitment to the process and the progress she's making.

"Training, I am taking it day by day. I’m learning new things; it’s a new program so I’m getting adjusted every day, loving the progress," Williams shared post-race. "I’m just taking my time, we have six weeks to go to trials so I want to get everything in, start running every week, and just getting race ready, taking it one day at a time to prepare and make the team."

Williams also highlighted the positive impact of training alongside Marie Jose Ta Lou Smith and the supportive group dynamics.

"It’s the best. I have a great group, great training, great coach. Marie, I learn so much from her and I really appreciate her as a teammate and all the rest of my teammates, and I really do adore the group," Williams commented on her training environment.

Regarding the transition to Coach John Smith, who was once the coach of her former mentor Ato Boldon, Williams expressed enthusiasm for the training regimen and the mentorship she receives.

"It’s amazing! The workouts are not too different. John is like the guru of track and field, so it’s really great learning from him and I learn a lot from him; he makes me strong mentally and physically as well," Williams remarked.

Despite the recent race result, Williams remains focused on the journey ahead, acknowledging the challenges of adapting to a new program mid-season.

"It wasn’t my best race, but I was just working on the things that I need to work on. Getting into a new program in the middle of the season is not easy but it’s what’s best for me right now so I am just taking it one race at a time," she concluded.

The 22-year-old Williams is expecting to be racing over 200m next week in Los Angeles.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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