Titans Track Club coach and former Olympian Michael Frater is confident his new charge Briana Williams will be able to make the transition from star junior to successful senior, despite admitting that it has been difficult for former junior stars in the past.

The 20-year-old Williams recently announced the decision to part ways with long-time coach Ato Boldon and join Frater and Gregory Little at Titans.  As a junior, Williams was a world champion in both the 100m and 200m.  Since turning pro in 2020, however, the athlete has failed to engineer anything close to similar success at the senior level.

Williams has made both the Olympics and World Championship teams, going on to win 4x100m relay gold, but has only managed to secure a spot in the relay pool to date and missed out on individual appearances.  At the Jamaica national trials, earlier this year, her time of 10.94, a new personal best, was only good enough for fourth spot.

In track and field, it isn’t uncommon for junior stars to fail to make the grade at the senior level but Frater believes Williams has the mindset to join the likes of Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell-Brown as world juniors champions who went on to excel at the senior level.

“It’s hard for a lot of these athletes that do great things at young ages, a lot of them never surpass what they do,” Frater told the SportsMax Zone.

“That's why most people will tell you that they prefer athletes who weren’t teeing off at a young age,” he added.

“I think with Briana’s attitude and dedication, though, it won’t be a problem for her transitioning to the next level, and as coach Ato said he may not have been able to spend enough time with her.  For an athlete to be a world-class athlete she has to get the full attention that she needs.”

Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Briana Williams is about to launch a new chapter of her track and field career under the guidance of new coaches to begin the 2022/2023 track season.

Briana Williams has opted not to travel to Birmingham, England to compete at the Commonwealth Games as her flight will only get her into the United Kingdom on Tuesday morning, the same day track and field action begins at the 2022 Games.

Following the decision of Shericka Jackson, Natasha Morrison and Stephenie-Ann McPherson to withdraw from the Jamaican contingent, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) sought clearance from the Commonwealth Games Federation to bring Williams in to compete in the 100m.

However, by the time the GCF gave that clearance, it proved challenging to get a flight out from the United States that would get the Jamaican sprinter into the UK on time.

A disappointed Williams made the announcement on social media on Monday.

“Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the Commonwealth Games. The race is tomorrow (Tuesday) and I would’ve be getting in extremely late,” she said.

“Thanks to those who helped to try to speed up the process. Really wish I could have been there. Good luck to all the athletes competing.”

The 20-year-old Williams ran 10.94 to finish fourth at the Jamaica National Championships in June. She was a member of the island’s sprint relay squad that won the silver medal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships that concluded at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on July 24.

Execution was key to Kemba Nelson running a new lifetime best to qualify for her first ever World Championships at Jamaica’s National Senior Championships in Kingston on Friday night.

Nelson, a senior at the University of Oregon, ran a personal best of 10.88 to finish second to Shericka Jackson, who ran a season-best 10.77 to secure her first national 100m title. Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah was third in 10.89 while Briana Williams ran a new lifetime best of 10.94 for fourth.

The key, she said, was to execute her race plan. “Once I execute the time will come,” she said.

Nelson, who won the silver medal behind Julien Alfred at the NCAA Division I Championships in Oregon earlier this month, explained that the more than 25-minute delay at the start did affect her but she was able to regain her composure ahead of the eventual start and that also paid off for her. She credits the advice of Coach Robert Johnson at Oregon for helping in that regard.

“Coach Johnson has always said to be things don’t only affect me, it affects all seven other athletes. It’s just for me to regroup because it’s bad for everybody but don’t let bad stop me from what I came here to do.”

Naturally, Nelson was ecstatic afterwards, sharing hugs first with Jackson and then family and friends afterwards in celebration of the achievement of making her first World Championships team.

“It means a lot to me. Coach has always believed in me, knows that I could do it, a little girl from Mobay living her dream,” she said, indicating that her decision to leave the University of Technology and enrol at the University of Oregon has been a key factor in her development.

“One of the best decisions I ever made in my life,” she said.

 

 

 

While pleased with her three consecutive sub-11 times including a new personal best in the 100m at Jamaica’s National Senior Championships, Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams was ‘annoyed’ by a 25-minute delay at the start of the 100m final which she believed had an effect on her performance.

Williams ran a new lifetime best of 10.94 to finish fourth just missing out on individual representation at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon in mid-July. In the race where the start was delayed by more than five minutes because of technical challenges being experienced by the starters, Shericka Jackson won her first national 100m title clocking a fast 10.77 while Kemba Nelson finished second in a new lifetime best of 10.88.

Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah was third in 10.89, just ahead of the 20-year-old Williams.

“I had a new PB, I am grateful. I had a great start. My end was pretty bad but it was a great race nonetheless,” Williams said afterwards, indicating that the delay had a major impact.
“A lot, it was very irritating.”

She revealed that she is also thankful to be able to perform as well as she did, given some challenges that she has had to face so far this season.

“This year hasn’t been the best. Indoors went pretty well but I am still going on with my season,” she said as she looks forward to donning the gold, black and green in Oregon as a member of Jamaica’s relay squad next month.

When Briana Williams finished ninth in the 100m dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on May 28, she could not have imagined the wave of negative reaction that was to follow on social media.

After a successful indoor season during which she ran a new lifetime best of 7.04 while finishing fifth in the 60m final at the World Indoor Championships in Serbia in March, Williams and her coach Ato Boldon turned their attention to preparing to compete in Jamaica’s National Senior Championships at the end of June with the intention of making Jamaica’s team to the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene in July.

Apparently, the heavy workload had taken its toll and Williams, who won gold in the 4x100m relay at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, was clearly not at her best. Following the run in Oregon, social media blew up with toxic narratives. She was not progressing fast enough. She needs to leave Boldon. Other Jamaican women had surpassed her now.

Those criticisms stung and were partly behind her decision to travel to Jamaica to compete at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Meet at Jamaica College in Kingston on Saturday. There, she ran a wind-assisted 10.91 (3.4m/s) in the preliminary round and then returned for the final where she ran a season's best 10.98 which went a long way toward silencing the armchair coaches.

“I definitely did,” said Williams while speaking with Sportsmax.TV after her triumphant performance on Saturday night.

“We don’t always have perfect races. Last week (Oregon) wasn’t my best. I wasn’t feeling my best but I am glad I got this meet in, was able to have a prelim and a final and finish healthy with a new season’s best.”

In truth, following her performance at the Prefontaine Classic when she clocked a relatively pedestrian 11.20, Williams did begin to doubt herself. However, those doubts were quickly extinguished by Coach Boldon.

“Well, I only had Prefontaine that was really bad. After the race, I was like ‘Oh My God, what’s going on? I am putting in the work’, but my coach said just trust the process. The work is there in training; you just have to wait. Everyone has their time, and we will not always have the best races,” she said.

“I would love for people to actually understand that we’re human beings and we’re athletes and we go through a lot and one bad race, we bounce back into a good race and we move forward.”

In fact, Williams believes that despite what the naysayers believe, she has been having a really good season.

“This season has been going well so far, especially indoors, my first full season indoors, 7.04. No one at 19 has done that and just to be the youngest at the World Indoor Championships and to place fifth really meant a lot,” she said.

“After indoors I went straight into training, heavy training, and I think that was where I was feeling it, at Prefontaine.”

Now with that disappointing performance clearly behind her, Williams is now firmly focused on being at her best for Jamaica’s National Senior Championships from June 23-26, when she will face off against some of the fastest women in the world with the aim of booking a ticket to Oregon in July.

To do that she will face as deep a field as she has ever faced in Jamaica. In addition to the usual suspects, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will compete despite having a bye to Oregon as the defending 100m champion and Shericka Jackson, Williams will come up against an in-form Kevona Davis, Natasha Morrison, Remona Burchell, Natalliah Whyte, Kemba Nelson and Shockoria Wallace all of whom have been having strong seasons.

Notwithstanding the depth of talent, the Olympic gold medallist said nothing will change in how she prepares for the fierce battles ahead.

“Never, it is always the same. It is always a hot field and I always perform my best when the time is right,” she said.

“I know that trials will be hard. Everyone is running fast. That is how it’s supposed to be. I am looking forward to trials.”

 

The Women’s 100m will be must-see TV at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, May 28.

Reigning double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson and controversial American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson are all down to compete in the showpiece event.

Thompson-Herah has the fastest season’s best heading into the race having run 10.89 to win her heat at the USATF Golden Games on April 16. She also ran 10.93 at the Puerto Rico International Athletics Classic on May 12 and 10.94 at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series at the National Stadium in Kingston on May 21.

Jackson has only run three 100m races so far this season with her best coming on May 7 when she ran 11.00 to win at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series at the National Stadium in Kingston. She also ran 11.12 for second at the Birmingham Diamond League on May 21 behind British 2019 World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, who will also be in the field in Eugene.

Richardson, who missed the Olympics last year after testing positive for marijuana at the US Olympic Trials, made her season debut on May 21 at the Duval County Challenge in Jacksonville running 11.27 to win.

The field will be rounded out by Ivorian speedster Marie Jose Talou, Jamaican Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist Briana Williams, recently crowned World Indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland and Americans Teahna Daniels and Twanisha Terry.

 

 

In the only race she has planned for the month of May, Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams ran a season-best 11.03 while finishing second in the 100m at the Pure Athletics Global Invitational in Clermont, Florida.

In what was her first race since suffered a tight hamstring at the USATF Golden Games in Walnut, California on April 16, Williams advanced to the final after winning her preliminary round heat in a wind-assisted 10.96 (5.3m/s).

In the final, she locked strides with Tanisha Terry until late in the race when the American pulled away to win in 10.94.

Maia McCoy was the best of the rest, running 11.20 for third.

Williams, 20, races next in the 100m on June 12 at the USATF Grand Prix in New York before she travels to Jamaica for the National Senior Championships scheduled for June 23-26.

Former Hydel High star sprinter Ashanti Moore, meanwhile, ran out a comfortable winner in the 200m. The powerful sprinter, who now trains at Pure Athletics alongside some of the world’s best sprinters including the 2019 World 200m champion, Noah Lyles, clocked a nippy 23.02 easily defeating Lily Kaden (23.21) and Camile Laus (23.63).

Lyles was equally dominant in the men’s 200m which he won in 19.86 over Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards (20.06) and his brother Josephus Lyles, who ran 20.20, his fastest-ever season opener.

Kimberly Williams jumped a wind-assisted 13.93m to win the triple jump by one centimetre over Naomi Metzer (13.92m). Sineade Gutzmore jumped 13.22m for third.

 

 

Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams was recently inducted onto the Champs Sports Wall of Game in Pembroke Pines, Florida, honouring those in the community who make and have made a positive contribution to local sports.

Champs Sports, part of Foot Locker, Inc. is the brand's first iteration of its new Homefield concept and is the largest of any Foot Locker, Inc. subsidiary in the world at 35,000+ square feet.

The 20-year-old Williams was inducted in a ceremony held on April 23 along with four other honourees: Mark Montimurro, Roderick Rocky Gills, Tamara James, and posthumously, Jason Stein.

“It’s always a privilege and a blessing to be honoured by the community that helped to raise me,” said the Jamaican Olympic gold medallist.

“It's also the biggest Champs store in the country so I'm humbled to be one of the first names inducted.”

Montimurro is the Head Coach at Coral Springs Charter School Softball, "Rocky" Gillis is Athletic Director at Broward County Schools and James is a former WNBA player and Mayor of Dania Beach. Stein was the Athletic Director/Baseball Coach/Teacher at JP Taravella High School.

 

 

Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah sped to a world leading 10.89 in the 100m at the USATF Golden Games at the Mt SAC Relays in California on Saturday.

Thompson-Herah ran the time in the heats but didn’t take part in the final later that day.

Olympic gold medallist in the 4x100m relay Briana Williams was also fast in the heats with a time of 10.91 before eventually finishing fifth in the final with 10.97 with an illegal 3.3 m/s tailwind.

The USA’s Twanisha Terry ran 10.77 to win the final ahead of teammates Aleia Hobbs (10.80) and Gabby Thomas (10.86).

In the field, Laquan Nairn of the Bahamas leapt out to a personal best 8.22m to win the Men’s long jump ahead of the USA’s Will Williams (8.18) and Carter Shell (7.91).

Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.92m to win the Women’s shot put ahead of Americans Jessica Woodard (18.77) and Jessica Ramsey (18.71).

Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyra Gittens cleared 1.85m for third in the Women’s high jump behind the USA’s Vashti Cunningham’s world leading 1.96m and Rachel McCoy’s 1.85.

 

Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah will be among the Caribbean athletes on show at the 2022 USATF Golden Games at the Mt SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, California on Saturday, April 16th.

Thompson-Herah, who lowered her 100m personal best to 10.54 last season, will compete in the Women’s 100m at the meet which is a part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold Series.

She will be joined in the race by her compatriot Briana Williams, Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle Lee-Ahye as well as the USA’s Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas. Aleia Hobbs, who has already run 11.06 this season, Twanisha Terry and Javianne Oliver are also down to compete.

Jamaica's Damion Thomas, Trinidad and Tobago's Ruebin Walters and Barbados' Shane Brathwaite will all be in the field in the 110m hurdles while Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas will be in the 200m.

Jamaica's Shiann Salmon and Andrenette Knight will be involved in the 400m hurdles. Their countryman Leonardo Ledgister will be in the men's equivalent.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Shadae Lawrence will be in action in the Women’s discus going up against the USA’s Olympic champion from Tokyo, Valarie Allman, who threw a personal best and American record 71.46m in San Diego on April 8.

Elsewhere, in the field, Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyra Gittens will do battle with the USA’s Vashti Cunningham in the high jump. Gittens season-best of 1.95m, a height equaling her lifetime best, currently puts her at number two in the world. Jamaica's Kimberly Williamson will also be in the field.

2019 World Championship silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd will take part in the discus alongside fellow Jamaican Lloydricia Cameron.

Puerto Rico’s defending Olympic champion in the Women’s 100m Hurdles Jasmine Camacho-Quinn stamped her class on the field with a world leading 12.67 into a -2.5 m/s headwind at the USATF Bermuda Games in Hamilton, Bermuda on Saturday.

Camacho-Quinn won ahead of the American pair of Chanel Brissett (13.06) and Christina Clemons (13.15).

Barbados’ Shane Brathwaite won the Men’s 110m Hurdles in 13.77 ahead of the USA’s Michael Dickson (13.85) and Brazil’s Eduardo Rodrigues (13.87).

Jamaica took the top three spots in the Women’s 400m Hurdles as former Hydel standout Shiann Salmon (55.35) got the better of 2019 World Championships bronze medalist Rushell Clayton (55.89) and multiple time World Championship and Olympic finalist Janieve Russell (56.56).

Bahamian Anthonique Strachan secured a win in the Women’s 200m in 23.23 ahead of the USA’s Dezerea Bryant (23.72) and Jamaica’s Briana Williams (23.82).

It was a Caribbean one-two in the Men’s 200m as Bahamian World and Olympic 400m champion Steven Gardiner got home in 20.80 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s World Indoor 400m champion Jereem Richards (20.86) and Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi (21.04).

Reigning Olympic 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica ran 51.40 to win the Women’s 400m ahead of teammate Candice McLeod (51.57) and the USA’s Jade Stepter Baines (51.93).

Kirani James made his return to the track with a 45.63 clocking to win the Men’s 400m ahead of Great Britain’s Alex Haydock Wilson (46.05) and Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde (46.27).

Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon-Powell was second in the Women’s 800m in 2:04.19. The event was won by the USA’s Ajee Wilson in 2:03.09 while Charlene Lipsey, also of the USA, was third in 2:04.50.

In the field, Shanieka Ricketts won the Women’s Triple Jump in 14.15 ahead of Great Britain’s Naomi Metzger (14.00) and the USA’s Michelle Fokam 13.42).

Jamaica’s Jordan Scott jumped out to 16.37m for second in the Men’s Triple Jump behind American Olympian Chris Bernard (16.57). Bahamian Kaiwan Culmer jumped 15.82 for third.

Jamaicans Chanice Porter and Tissana Hickning were second and third in the Women’s Long Jump with 6.70 and 6.50, respectively. The USA’s Quanesha Burks won with 6.77.

 

Coming off her impressive 200m season opener at the Florida Relays on April 1, Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams believes a new personal best for the half-lap sprint is a possibility when she takes on a strong field at the USATF/Bermuda Games on Saturday.

Williams, who ran a personal best of 7.04 at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March, blazed to her best ever opener in the 200m, clocking a nippy 22.82 in Gainesville, signalling that good things could be in store for the 20-year-old Jamaican this season.

However, in Bermuda, both her speed and mettle will be tested when she lines up alongside world leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, USA's Dezerea Bryant and Twanisha Terry as well as Anthonique Strachan of The Bahamas.

Not one to be daunted by the opposition, Williams said she is eager to step into the blocks on Sunday with a new personal best in mind.

“I’m really thrilled to run my second 200m of the season in Bermuda, it’s my first time there,” she said. “The field is very strong and I’m looking forward to a new personal best, it’s time to update that number and run a very strong and fast race.”

Williams’ personal best of 22.50 was set in 2018 while winning the 200m and completing the sprint double at the World U20 Championships. She was just 16 years old.

Meanwhile, her coach Ato Boldon, who said his young star will be running more 200m races this year, thinks Sunday’s race will be a true test for the young Olympian but believes she is ready for the challenge.

“Briana getting a chance to run a high-quality 200m in April in Bermuda fits her overall plan,” he said. “A year ago, she was battling injuries. She’s fully fit and ready now."

*Editor's note: This story initially stated that the USATF/Bermuda Games would be held on Sunday. The Games will be held on Saturday. Sportsmax.TV apologizes for the error.

 

Briana Williams opened her outdoor season on a winning note at the 2022 Florida Relays at the James G. Pressley Stadium in Gainesville on Friday.

The Olympic 4x100m relay gold medalist from Tokyo ran 22.81 to win the Women’s Olympic Development 200m ahead of the USA pair Shannon Ray (22.95) and Brittany Aveni (23.10).

Antigua and Barbuda’s Tennessee sophomore Joella Lloyd was sixth in the Women’s College 200m in 23.32. The event was won by Florida’s Talitha Diggs in 22.78 ahead of Kentucky’s Karimah Davis (22.97) and Iowa’s Lasarah Hargrove (23.09).

Jamaican Kentucky senior Kenroy Williams was eighth fastest in the Men’s 400m Hurdles with 50.92. South Carolina’s William Spencer Jr won the event in 49.56 ahead of Maryland’s Caleb Dean (49.78) and North Carolina A&T’s Cory Poole (50.20).

Purdue senior and former Jamaica College standout Safin Wills jumped 7.49m for eighth in the Men’s Long Jump won by A’Nan Bridgett of Rutgers in 7.72. Isaiah Holmes of Miami jumped 7.69 for second while Florida’s Malcolm Clemons jumped 7.63 for third.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambudji ran a massive lifetime best of 6.96 to win 60-metre gold at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Belgrade on Friday.

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