Briana Williams said she is excited about competing at the New Balance Grand Prix on Saturday, February 13, saying she is in good shape and looking to do well.

Briana Williams is set to make her season debut on Saturday, February 13 at the New Balance Grand Prix that this year will be held in New York instead of Boston, and according to her coach Ato Boldon, she is eager to get going.

A season of giving continued for double World U20 Champion and rising track star, Briana Williams, after a recent visit to the Office of the Prime Minister where she gifted Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness with printers for distribution to schools, as the country continues to navigate distance learning during the pandemic.

The effort was the latest in a series of philanthropic acts undertaken by the athlete, who also recently donated tablets to student-athletes and printing machinery to the Jamaica Cancer Society who produces large volumes of readouts of pap smears, mammograms, and testicular cancer screenings on a daily basis.  Williams also conducted a Christmas treat, in Montego Bay, in December.

The 18-year-old, who is also a patron of the Caribbean’s largest charity event, the Sigma Sagicor Run 2021, was lauded by the Prime Minister for her charitable efforts. 

“I am happy that our young people are being agents of change and are willing to help build our great nation through service. Keep up the good work, Briana,” he wrote on his social media pages.

For Williams, it was inspirational to meet the Prime Minister once again.  She was awarded the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in sports, in 2018, following her outstanding performances at the World Under-20 Championships and CARIFTA Games, where she won the coveted Austin Sealy award.

“It was an honour to sit with him and he was just so encouraging and inspirational. Just being able to speak to him about my training and my preparations was so uplifting for me. He also promised to match my donation by purchasing printers for distribution to more schools as well. I know that if each of us contributes in some way, we can help Jamaica recover stronger, so I’m just happy to play my part,” said Williams.

Williams was accompanied by her manager Tanya Lee and Dominique Walker, CEO of Printware Online who provided the printers.

Jamaican track athlete, Briana Williams, the 2018 double World U20 sprint champion, will serve as the race patron for the 2021 Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run set for February 21.

Double World U-20 champion Briana Williams provided a Christmas treat, by way of a motorcade, for children of the Paradise Acres community in Norwood, Montego Bay, over the festive weekend.

  Williams, who joined the senior ranks at the start of 2020, was joined by her management team and ‘Santa Claus’ who handed gifts to over 100 children from the community where her mother spent her childhood before migrating to the United States.

 The athlete who admitted to having had a good year, despite the negatives of the Covid-19 pandemic, revealed that the event was all about giving back.

“I have been tremendously blessed this year and I wanted to give back to a community that means so much to my family.  I wanted every child here to have a Merry Christmas,” Williams said.

The athlete’s Manager Tanya Lee confirms the event will be an annual undertaking, with future changes to its structure to be considered once the world is past the worst of the raging coronavirus pandemic.

"Things changed a little bit because of Covid restrictions, so we’re just driving through the community and handing out gifts responsibly. We will do the treat on a larger scale for next year, God’s willing. I have to big up Digicel, Grace Foods, Sagicor & Nike for their kind donations this year,” Lee said.

Briana Williams has withdrawn from the Christmas Class Odd Distance meet that was to have got underway in Freeport, Bahamas today.

Briana Williams intends to open her 2020/21 track season next weekend in Freeport, Grand Bahama where she intends to compete in the 150m and 300m. The 18-year-old star made the announcement on social media yesterday.

“Training has been going well. I’m going to do something I have never done before, compete in December,” she said.

“I am opening my 2020-2021 season next weekend in the Bahamas with a 300m and a 150m on the 18th and 19th.”

Like many track and field athletes, Williams was not able to compete much during the last season because of the Covid-19 pandemic that prompted the cancellation of meets around the globe. Training well and eager to compete, Jamaica’s national junior record holder is chomping at the bit says her coach Ato Boldon.

“For the first time Briana is training completely by herself and she is thriving with all my attention. She is about two and a half months in now and this meet presented itself. She wanted to do it and I realize that just in the time when we were thinking about it her training has gone up a notch,” Boldon told Sportsmax.TV, explaining that the 2018 World Under 20 sprint-double champion, trains well when she is getting ready for something.

“She will give a good account of herself and she is very excited about it.”

According to Boldon, Williams will contest the 300m on the Friday and then the 150m the following day.

Yohan Blake and his teammates from Titans International Track Club will also be competing at the meet dubbed the Christmas Classic All-Distance Meet and which is hosted by the Neymour Athletic Club.

Double World U20 champion, Pan Am Games U20 champion, NACAC U18 champion and world-record holder are just some of the titles owned by Jamaica’s rising track star Briana Williams.

She has now added a new title; homeowner.

The 18-year-old university student acquired the keys to her home in Florida and she couldn’t be happier. She showed off her new home on social media saying “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”

The excitement was still palpable when she spoke with Sportsmax.TV

“Purchasing my first house was a dream come true for me, especially at 18 you don’t see that much,” she said.

“I’m so happy and excited about this big step I took. This is what I couldn’t wait for! It was a long process but I enjoyed and learned a lot from it.”

After an outstanding year in 2019, when she won many titles and set a new Jamaica U20 record, Williams signed a multi-year deal with Nike in January. She has recently began training in anticipation of making Jamaica’s team to the Tokyo, Olympics in Japan next summer.

 

Had it not been for the pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would have been done and dusted 10 days ago and sports fans across the world would still be gathering around water coolers and office enclosures buzzing about the spectacular show put on by the world’s greatest athletes.

Briana Williams has signed a three-year deal to become a Digicel  brand ambassador.

Jamaican teen track star Briana Williams has signed a three-year deal to become a brand ambassador for Grace Foods, the company announced on Wednesday.

Briana Williams will close out one chapter of her career on Wednesday with an eye on a future that involves college and the pursuit of what promises to be a successful professional career.

The impact of the Tokyo 2020 postponement, as well as others means track and field athletes can look forward to a tough four years to come, so says former Trinidad & Tobago sprinter and Olympic medallist Ato Boldon.

According to Boldon, the movement of the Olympics to the Summer of 2021 is likely to push the World Championships to 2022, sparking a domino effect on other major games.

“It means that we may be in for four championship years in a row. We know that the summer Olympics are going to be in 2021. I think they are going to push the World Championships over to 2022 which means that it then conflicts with the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup, and then we get back on stream with the regular schedule of 2023 World Championships and 2024 Olympics in Paris,” said Boldon.

These movements, Boldon believes, won’t reset the athletic calendar for another five years, but sees no real alternative to the unprecedented action of putting an Olympics in an odd year.

Boldon has an interest in what the next few years of athletics holds as the coach of rising star, Briana Williams.

Williams was set to contest for a place in her first Olympics and in a recent SportsMax.tv interview, Boldon said the delay was good for his athlete, who would have a year to get stronger.

Briana Williams and her handlers are taking a positive outlook on the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In the seven years they have been together, Ato Boldon and Briana Williams have enjoyed a successful relationship as coach and athlete. In that time, the Trinidadian coach has guided the now 18-year-old Jamaican to several records and titles that have seen her stocks rise as one of the emerging athletes of the near future.

Late last year, Williams, who celebrated her 18th birthday on March 21, 2020, signalled her arrival among the professional ranks when she signed a multi-year professional contract with Nike.

It was just two years ago, in mid- March of 2018, that Williams signalled to the world that she was on her way when she set the 100m world age-group record for 15-year-old girls of 11.13 at the Bob Hayes Classic in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mere weeks later, she won three gold medals at the Carifta Games and claimed the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the most outstanding athlete of the meet.

However, it was the summer of 2018 that she demonstrated the immense depth of her talent when at the age of 16 she defied the odds to win the 100m and 200m titles at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

The year 2019 was to prove as successful even though there would be a bump in the road.

At what would be her final Carifta Games, Williams repeated her exploits of 2018 and won the Austin Sealy Award for a second time.

She would go on to win the NACAC U18 100m title as well as the Pan Am U20 title and set a World U18 record of 10.94s when she finished third at the Jamaican national championships in June beaten only by world-leading times of 10.73s run by Olympic champions Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

However, the 10.94 was erased after she failed a drug test having ingested Pharma Cold and Flu tablets tainted with the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). She was reprimanded by a Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and missed a chance to compete at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

It turned out to be a pit stop in her burgeoning career as greater things clearly await.

But, what is it like for her coach, shaping the future of a confident but headstrong 18-year-old?

Boldon shed some light on their relationship, first revealing that he did not start out intending to coach a then precocious 11-year-old Williams.

“I wasn’t really thinking about coaching her. I was more fundraiser in chief when it came time to find the money for her summer meets. Whatever shortfall she had after we did her go fund me, I made up,” he said.

Having ended up coaching her, Boldon said they now share a solid and fruitful connection.

“The relationship really is a good one. I think Briana and I know each other very well. I have to deal with the fact that she is a headstrong teen, she has to deal with the fact that my patience is about a quarter-of-an-inch long. I notice now when I go off on her over something, her attitude is “ok here he goes, he’ll be ok once he’s done," he said, explaining why he believes they are perfect for each other.

“Briana and I are both very interested in history. That’s why it works. It also works because she trusts me implicitly. The last three seasons have gone exactly as I told her they would in terms of times and performances.

“I’d like to think she’s inherited her sense of history from me. If it’s been done before, I am not really interested in it. I want her to blaze new trails and create history. I’m not sure she felt that way before. Her age-group world record in 2018 changed that. Hearing “Fastest 15-year-old girl ever” changed her mind quickly.”

It has not all been smooth sailing, however. After all, Briana is still a teenager.

“Briana is very headstrong. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I tell people all the time, go look at the Kentucky Derby. You’ll see a horse that refuses to get in that starting gate. He’s not interested, won't conform, doesn’t care if the world is waiting,” he said.

“Briana can be like that, and I don’t like to be challenged when I’m coaching so it leads to some interesting interactions between us. Being headstrong I think is a trait of most great sprinters, so I’d never try to kill that part of her.”

There is a method, though, to getting the best from her.

“Once Briana sees results, she’ll do exactly what you want - and ask for more. There are workouts in 2018-2019 that I wanted to use sparingly because she’s 16 (now 17) and she’s like "coach we haven't done Workout X in a while…why not…?” and you realize “oh, she understands what that will do for her, she’s not afraid of the pain and she’s not going to avoid doing it again either."

Boldon, the first world junior champion to become a world champion at the senior level, said Williams is chest-deep in talent.

 “Briana has natural gifts that I’ve never seen. I've never seen someone at her age start like that. When it’s a big occasion, her start never deserts her. World under-20 final 100m, Jamaican Nationals 2019, 100m. I had pro sprinters in my camp that she could hold her own with - at age 14,” he said.

“I had to completely revamp her strength training this season because she can lift whatever I throw at her, but I will need that in her 20s and 30s. I can get around doing that stuff now. From hip to knee, she’s a beast. Grown men see her doing Olympic lifts in the gym and can't believe it. Much of speed is about strength to weight. She only weighs 125lb, but for her size, she’s extremely strong.”

He said he has no real issues in keeping her motivated, a critical component of her achieving greatness as she transitions to the senior ranks.

“She’s very motivated on her own. She doesn’t need me for that - until it’s something she hasn’t thought of. She knew she wanted to win World under 20s in the 100m in 2018 - even though she was only 16,” he said.

“I knew she could win both. She had to be convinced about the 200m. In 2018, people online were trying to tell her that she shouldn't be running with pros e.g. at Racers Grand Prix. Maybe she believed some of them. I convinced her otherwise. I don’t have to convince her much anymore.”

The Covid-19 pandemic will slow Briana Williams in 2020 as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics might be postponed until 2021. However, all that would do is delay the inevitable rise of the next female star of track and field.

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