Injury free, stronger and faster than ever, Danielle Williams is enjoying competing once more

By February 10, 2022
Danielle Williams on her way to a personal best 60m hurdles performance at New Balance Grand Prix last weekend Danielle Williams on her way to a personal best 60m hurdles performance at New Balance Grand Prix last weekend Twitter

Free of injury and embracing a new mindset are among the key factors why Danielle Williams is enjoying her sport once more.

The 2015 World 100m hurdles champion and 2019 bronze medalist is off to a fast start this season, losing just once, a third-place finish in the 60m dash at the Clemson Invitational on February 14.

A week earlier she ran 38.57 to win an indoor 300m at Clemson.

Since then she is 2-0 in finals, winning the 60m hurdles in Karlsruhe, Germany in 7.84 and then just last weekend at the New Balance Grand Prix in New York, Williams ran a new lifetime best of 7.83, the second-fastest time in the world this year.

Only 100m hurdles world-recorder Kendra Harrison with 7.81 has run faster.

She explained to Sportsmax.TV earlier this week that so far this season she has been healthy and happy.

“Last year was a disastrous season and so this year I have had a renewed mindset. I am determined to not have as disastrous a season, I can’t repeat that”, she said from her base in South Carolina.

“Last year I started the season injured, I finished the season injured so I am of the mindset that I have to stay healthy this year. I love competing so I am trying to find the fun in what I am doing once more because I wasn’t having fun last year. So that’s my only desire this year, to stay healthy, to have fun and to compete well.”

This season has been markedly different from 2021 when a raft of injuries hindered her preparation, her ability to compete and played a part in Williams missing out on Jamaica’s Olympic team for the second consecutive cycle. She said it was a difficult time.

 “Last year this time I was injured, I had foot problems, I couldn’t run, I had to take a month off,” she said.

“I was down in the dumps for a lot of last year. I lost my confidence.

“I started doubting myself and my ability because I was injured all the time and I wasn’t as strong and it was affecting a lot of things so (this year) I have taken a different approach to the gym, I have taken a different approach to practice, to recovery and I am doing all the little things that I didn’t pay enough attention to and that has led to improvements in a lot of areas on the track but mostly off the track and definitely in my mindset going into practice and into competition.”

The biggest change, she said, is with her physicality.

“The difference this season is that I am healthy and I am stronger, much, much stronger,” she said. “I changed weight programmes so I am more powerful and strong.”

Armed with greater confidence and greater strength, Williams is approaching the full season with greater optimism. She is looking forward to the World Championships in Oregon in the summer and is not ruling out the Commonwealth Games where she won silver on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018.

“I plan to take it one step at a time. I am definitely targeting trying to go to World Indoors when that is finished we will turn our attention to the outdoor season,” she said. “I am pretty sure World Championships is the main target.”

Regarding the Commonwealth Games, she said, she isn’t sure what Coach Lennox Graham has planned but the Diamond League circuit is also in her plans for the season.

“We are going to try to do as much as we can,” she said.

 

 

 

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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  • 10.62! Shelly runs another world-leading time as Caribbean athletes impress in Monaco 10.62! Shelly runs another world-leading time as Caribbean athletes impress in Monaco

    It was yet another world-leading run for Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the Meeting Herculis EBS Diamond League in Monaco on Wednesday but this time the field was closer; a lot closer.

    The 35-year-old Jamaican ran a meet record of 10.62 for victory but Shericka Jackson ran a lifetime best of 10.71 to take the runner-up spot just ahead of Marie Jose Ta Lou, who ran a personal best and area record 10.72 for third.

    Aleia Hobbs of the United States equalled her season-best 10.81 for fourth.

    This was the record-extending sixth consecutive final in which the diminutive Jamaican has run faster than 10.70 seconds and the two-time Olympic champion was quite pleased with the performance but hinted that she is planning to take a break after what has been an intense schedule.

    “I had now three back-to-back races so I will take some time for recovery and see what I´m able to do with some rest before I come back,” she said.

    “I did what I needed to do and we had fun and let the clock do the talking. I cannot be disappointed with the season. To be able to run 10.6 consistently means a lot to me. It is remarkable. It is very hard to keep the speed at this high level.

    “I´m in my late 30’s and I think I feel like I have more to give. I look forward to doing my personal best for the rest of the season and run fast.”

    The Jamaican speed-queen was not the only Caribbean winner at the meet on the night as Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas raced to a fast 49.28 to win the 400m in commanding fashion over Candice McLeod who ran a season-best 49.89, her first time under 50 seconds for the season. Finishing third was Commonwealth Games champion Sada Williams, who ran 51.10.

    Commonwealth Games finalist Rushell Clayton ran a brand new lifetime best of 53.33 to win the 400m hurdles to defeat Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell, who ran a season-best 53.52.

    Panama’s Gianna Woodruff was third in 54.13.

    Natoya Goule rebounded from the disappointment of just missing out on a medal at the Commonwealth Games to run a season-best 1:56.98.

    Goule won by five metres ahead Sage Hurta ran a new personal best of 1:57.85. Her compatriot Olivia Baker was third in a season-best 1:58:05.

    “I feel extremely proud because I finally dropped the time under 57. I knew it was in me…this is really the track where you can run fast but I am just thankful for the win and the season best,” said Goule who missed out on a medal by 0.01 at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

    “I just wanted to ensure I ran a smart race because it was getting fast. I am glad that I finished strong because sometimes when you run 56, you do not have the kick but I still got it today. I was so happy when I crossed the line and saw the time. It would be nice to get a PR this season. I know it is a bit challenging but I take it step by step.”

    Hansle Parchment, still recovering from the injury that kept him out of the finals of the 110m hurdles at the 2022 World Championships and the Commonwealth Games ran a season-best 13.08 but finished third to Grant Holloway, who ran a 12.99 season-best for the win.

    NCAA champion Trey Cunningham ran 13.03 for second place.

    In the field, Shanieka Ricketts jumped 14.91, her second-best mark of the season to be runner-up to Olympic and World Champion Yulimar Rojas, who needed a mark of 15.01 to take the win.

    The USA’s Tori Franklin jumped a lifetime best of 14.86 for third place.

    Noah Lyles of the USA raced to a meet record 19.46 to win the 200m leaving teen sensation Erriyon Knighton 19.84 and Michael Norman 19.95 floundering in his wake.

     

     

     

     

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