Jamaican speedster Briana Williams receives US Congressional award

By April 30, 2018
Briana Williams receiving her award from Consul General Trudy Deans on behalf of US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke at the Penn Relays on Saturday. Briana Williams receiving her award from Consul General Trudy Deans on behalf of US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke at the Penn Relays on Saturday.

The awards just keep rolling in for Jamaica’s newest sprint sensation Briana Williams.

In March, the Florida-based teen became the fastest 15-year-old of all time over the 100m courtesy of her 11.13s run at the Bob Hayes Invitational in Jacksonville. She followed that up with three gold medals – 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay – at the 2018 Carifta Games in the Bahamas and claimed the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the meet’s most outstanding athlete.

On Saturday, at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, she picked up another award and she wasn’t even competing.

The United States Congresswoman Yvette Clarke presented the talented teen with the Certificate of Special Recognition in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community for her standout performances as a young athlete.

“It was a great feeling and everyone else was watching knowing it was a big thing here, so I was happy,” said Williams, who revealed that she had no idea that she was down to receive the award.

No, I didn’t know. They told me to sit down and that they are going to have a presentation then my name was called, but I never knew.”

Sharon Simpson, Williams’ mother, was a proud mom on Saturday watching her daughter receive the honour.

“I was filled with joy for her seeing that she was being recognized at this level and I thank Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) for reaching out and making this happen for her,” Simpson said. “I was happy for her because she works very hard and it wasn’t expected. It was really a surprise. Wow. I was in awe.”

Irwin Clare of Team Jamaica Bickle made the request to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke that the US-born Williams receive the honour at the Penn Relays seeing that she had planned to attend.

“This was a request by me on behalf of TJB. This serves to highlight the Diaspora. Jamaica must recognize that there are a growing number of our children who are born in the USA who want to represent Jamaica,” he told SportsMaxTV. “We are very proud of her achievement but more importantly that she chose to represent Jamaica.”

Williams’ coach Ato Boldon said for him, personally, it was very satisfying to see his young charge being honoured in such a fashion.

“I had a similar situation with Khalifah (St. Fort) in that when you have a foreign-born athlete I am always a little worried about how they are going to be received back home,” he said.

“It’s really a pleasant surprise for me to see how Jamaica has embraced Briana. So to see this kind of award, this kind of commendation coming from the Congresswoman was very satisfying because it further reinforces that Briana has been fully embraced by all sectors of the Jamaican community.”

 

 

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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