Briana Williams has the stuff of champions - Coach Ato Boldon

By July 12, 2018

Briana Williams’ composure under pressure made the difference in the finals of the Women’s 100m finals at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland on Thursday.

Lined up against the American Twanisha Terry, the favourite for the gold medal by virtue of her personal best 10.99 run this season and her championship record of 11.03s in the semi-finals, Williams was unflappable as stepped into the blocks for the biggest race of her rapidly burgeoning career.

At the sound of the gun, she shot out of the blocks leaving the American behind and apparently, rattled. By the time Terry managed to recover, Williams was well on her way to becoming the youngest ever winner of the Women’s U20 title and the first Jamaican to do so since Veronica Campbell Brown won gold at the World Junior Championships in Chile in 2000. 11.16 to 11.9, but the times mattered little.

What mattered was the composure demonstrated by Williams when it mattered most.

“This season has not been perfect by any means but Briana has shown me poise in a way I never expected. And that’s not my coaching, she came to me with that,” Boldon said after he had finished celebrating the historic win.

“She’s not 16 and a half yet and the poise she showed today under pressure is the stuff that puts you on global medal podiums as a senior. I’m ecstatic for her.  She has earned it.”

Last year she took her losses. This year she is undefeated at 100m except for the two Olympic champions.”

He was referring to the races Williams ran against Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the two-time Olympic champion and seven-time World Champion at the Racers Grand Prix on June 9. She was third in that race as Jenna Prandini was second.

Then at the Jamaican national championships later that month, Williams was fifth beaten by double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, an Olympic 400m bronze medalist and the NCAA-seasoned Jonielle Smith.

Boldon believes those races helped her prepare for the U20 final. He revealed that many were against his decision to put her in those races, but in the end, it turned out to be the right thing to do.




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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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