Olympic silver medalist Shericka Williams backs Nikisha Pryce to break Jamaican 400m record: "I will be cheering her on!"

By May 19, 2024

When Nikisha Pryce clocked a lifetime best of 49.32 seconds at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Gainesville, Florida on May 11, one of the keen observers was Shericka Williams. Now 38 years old and residing in the United States, Williams currently shares with Pryce the title of second-fastest Jamaican woman ever to run the 400m. Pryce's time sits just two-thousandths of a second shy of Lorraine Graham’s national record of 49.30, set in Monaco 22 years ago.

Williams, a three-time Olympic silver medalist who also won five silver medals at the World Championships, came agonizingly close to breaking the national record herself at the 2009 championships in Berlin, where she finished as runner-up to Jamaican-born American Sanya Richards.

Having closely followed Pryce’s progression over the years, Williams expressed her belief in the 23-year-old SEC champion’s potential to surpass Fenton’s longstanding record. In an exclusive chat with Sportsmax.TV, Williams shared her insights: “I have been watching her progress and how much she has grown in the event. I do believe she has the ability to break the national record if she remains focused, continues to stay healthy, and avoids overworking herself.”

Reflecting on Pryce’s athletic prowess, Williams continued, “We both share the joint second-fastest time. From observing her performances indoors and outdoors, she runs smoothly with apparent ease, and her 200m speed complements her 400m ability. Lorraine’s record has stood for years, and despite attempts from myself, Novelene (Williams), and others, it remains unbroken. I hope Nikisha can achieve this feat and also secure a spot on the Olympic team, reaching the final and delivering a performance worthy of a medal.”

Williams, who shares a similar physique to Pryce, believes that breaking the record is within reach. Recalling her near-miss in 2009, she noted, “I was in 48-second shape going into the championships based on my training. However, I didn’t execute my race properly; my third 100 meters was too slow. Breaking the record hinges on how well you manage each 100 meters, and with the leg speed I possessed, I truly believe I could have set a new record, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get my race strategy right.”

Despite her near-miss, Williams holds high hopes for Pryce, the current senior at the University of Arkansas. “I wish her all the best, and I will be cheering her on,” Williams concluded, expressing optimism that Pryce could achieve what she and many others have aimed for but fallen short of accomplishing.

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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