A world-class cast of athletes including double-Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah, world-champion Anderson Peters and fast-rising teen star Briana Williams, have been confirmed for the 2020 edition of the Grenada Invitational that was launched on Wednesday at the Radisson Beach Resort, St. George’s.

Jamaica's sprint sensation Briana Williams said she is excited about lining up against six-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix over 60m at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 8 at the Armoury Track & Field Centre in New York.

 It will be the first time the 17-year-old sprinter will race against the decorated American. The stacked field also includes Jamaica’s Trudy Ann Williamson, the USA’s Morolake Akinuson, Hannah Cunliffe, Teahna Daniels, Javianne Oliver, Deajah Stevens and Germany’s Tatjana Pinto.

 “I'm excited about the line-up. I’ve been looking up to Allyson ever since I started track so this is pretty awesome that I get to race against her. She has accomplished so much, especially at a young age,” said Williams who raced to a fast 7.15-second outdoor run in Kingston last month.

 She opened her 2020 season with a personal best 7.25 seconds at the Clemson University's Orange & Purple Elite Invitational on January 4,

 In contrast to Williams’ excitement about racing her idol, Coach Ato Boldon sees this as just another 60m race in William's 2020 preparation.

 "Training has been exceptional so I expect another PR from Briana this weekend. She has run against the two Olympic 100m champions on multiple occasions...she won't be overwhelmed by the spotlight."

Briana Williams lived up to expectations on Saturday night when she blazed to a 7.15-second run to win a specially arranged 60m run at the Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Newly signed Nike star Briana Williams and veteran sprinter Nesta Carter have been confirmed for the 2020 edition of the Queens/Grace Jackson meet set for Saturday, January 25 starting at 8:30 am.

Briana Williams has gone pro!

The 17-year-old Jamaican, who had an outstanding year in 2019, has signed a multi-year contract with Nike. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Recognized as one of the rising stars in track and field having won the sprint double at the World U20 Championships in Tampere in 2018, Williams was courted by a number of shoe companies with PUMA and Nike being the frontrunners.

Nike eventually won the right to the signature of the talented teen, whose coach Ato Boldon confirmed the signing to Sportsmax.TV.

“Briana has had people dedicated to her abilities for many years. Even before me, Coach Tennessee and Coach Damion Thomas, have done right by her,” Boldon said.

“I was just handed the baton for this leg of the race, but I’ve been around this industry a long time and for a company like Nike, who can back anyone, to put this level of support behind Briana, makes all of the work over the last five years, worth it. She is extremely blessed and fortunate to be where she is at just 17.”

Williams, who turns 18 in March, said the Nike deal has provided a platform for her to chase her dreams.

“I’m extremely proud. I have come a long way. This is a big deal for me because I’m young but I’m ready to show the world what I am capable of,” said Williams who now belongs to the group (HSI) that includes indoor 400m WR holder Mike Norman and world champions Christian Coleman and Dalilah Muhammad.

“I’m glad that Nike gave me this opportunity. It means the world to me as a girl with big dreams.”

The year 2019 was a big year for Williams. She won the 100m at the NACAC U18 Championships in Mexico and the Pan Am U20 Championships in Costa Rica during the year in which she ran unbeaten at the junior level.

She also won the Austin Sealy Award at the CARIFTA Games for the second year running after winning three gold medals, duplicating her achievements in 2018. In June, she set a Jamaican junior record of 11.02s in New Mexico.

Track & Field News, considered the bible of the sport, recognized her stellar year by naming her their High School Athlete of the Year for 2019.

The prodigious teen suffered a setback during the year when she returned an adverse finding for a banned diuretic found in her urine sample at the Jamaican National Championships in June where she finished third in the 100m behind two-time Olympic champions Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

As such, her time of 10.94s, which would have been a U18 world record and a national junior record for Jamaica, was subsequently struck from the record books.

Following a hearing before an Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel in September, Williams was reprimanded but was free to compete. However, due to how late the verdict came, her chances of competing at the 2019 World Championships in Doha were effectively dashed.

Young Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams lowered her 60m personal best again at the Clemson University's Orange & Purple Elite Invitational on Saturday.

Jamaica's 17-year-old sprint sensation Briana Williams opened her 2020 season with a personal best 7.27 seconds in the heats of the women's 60m at the Clemson University's Orange & Purple Elite Invitational on Saturday.

The final is scheduled for later.

Williams' 7.27-second clocking beat her previous personal best of 7.28 seconds, a time she posted in March 2019  to beat an elite high school field at New Balance Nationals Indoor. 

Jayla Kirkland of Florida State finished second in 7.29 seconds, while Gabriele Cunningham, running unattached, was well beaten into third in 7.36 seconds.

The race not only represents the first for Williams but the first for the teenager since being found not to have been at fault by the Independent Anti-Doping Panel in September 2019 following a positive drug test.

She took an over-the-counter flu remedy during the Jamaican trials in June which had the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide among its components.

The young sprinter then decided in September to withdraw from the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, a competition she had qualified for at the trials.

Williams, who is based in Florida, will next be in action at the Queen's School/Grace Jackson Invitational in Kingston, Jamaica on January 25, also over 60m.

She is also scheduled to take on a strong field with five Olympians, also over 60m,  at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 8 at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York.

Track & Field News, widely recognized as the bible of the sport, has named Jamaica’s Briana Williams as the 2019 High School Girls Athlete of the Year.

Lawyers representing the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) are proceeding to initiate legal action against noted attorney Dr Emir Crowne after the latter refused to apologize for alleged defamatory comments he made about the commission in  August this year.

Noted sports attorney Dr. Emir Crowne will not be apologizing to the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) for comments he made about the commission in the days leading up to the anti-doping hearing involving Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams.

Dr. Emir Crowne, who represented Briana Williams during her anti-doping hearing last month, is facing legal action from the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), who claim they have been defamed by the noted attorney.

Newly-crowned 100m World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has offered kind words of encouragement to young compatriot Briana Williams who missed out on an appearance at the Doha Championships after being embroiled in a doping controversy.

The 17-year-old Williams was hit with a reprimand after returning an adverse analytical finding, following the Jamaica National Championships.  The athlete, who returned a test for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide, provided the explanation that the substance was part of a contaminated batch of flu medication she had ingested on the morning of the championships. 

An Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel ruling on the matter issued Williams with a reprimand and did not prescribe any period of ineligibility for the athlete but based on the IAAF’s rules the results earned at Jamaica’s National Trials were scrubbed from the record. Williams had secured her spot on the World Championship team after finishing third behind Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson in the 100m.  Though selected to the team the athlete later withdrew after being replaced by Jonielle Smith for the 100m and facing time considerations for the relay squad.

“I’ve been in that situation before when I took a painkiller and it was very hard for me to come back and not focus on that incident,” Fraser-Pryce said.

In 2010, Fraser-Pryce served a six-month ban after testing positive for Oxycodone at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting.  The athlete had taken the substance to provide relief for a severe toothache.

“It happens, unfortunately.  I would not have wished that on anyone, and I hope that she can stay strong and stay motivated and forget about what anyone else has to say.  It’s about what you know and what you believe, and you can come back from anything.”

Briana Williams has decided to withdraw from the Jamaican team to the 2019 IAAF World Championships that gets underway tomorrow in Doha, Qatar.

2018 CAC 100m champion, Jonielle Smith has replaced Briana Williams in the Women’s 100m that begins on Saturday morning at the 2019 IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar.

If allowed to, Briana Williams will compete in the 100m at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, according to her coach Ato Boldon.

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