In a remarkable display of resilience and determination, Olympic relay gold medallist, Briana Williams, defied the odds and made a triumphant comeback at the Jamaica National Athletics Championships on Friday night.

Despite battling injuries throughout the season, she managed to finish fourth in the highly competitive 100m race, clocking in at a season's best time of 11.01 seconds.

The race was dominated by some of Jamaica's finest sprinters, with Shericka Jackson leading the pack and setting a world-leading time of 10.65 seconds to claim victory. Sashalee Forbes, who achieved a personal best of 10.96 seconds, secured second place, closely followed by Natasha Morrison in third place with a time of 10.98 seconds.

For Williams, this achievement was nothing short of miraculous. Just a week prior, her hopes of participating in the trials seemed bleak after suffering an injury. However, through the relentless efforts of the staff at the YB Rehabilitation Centre, she made a remarkable recovery, defying the odds to secure a spot on Jamaica's team for the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

In a post-race interview, Williams expressed her gratitude, acknowledging the support she received during her challenging journey. "Last week, the unbelievable happened to me, and I wasn't even sure if I was going to run at trials this week. The YB Rehabilitation Center worked tirelessly on me, and I just want to thank God that I made it out here and was able to run all three healthy races," she revealed.

 While the fourth-place finish may not have been her ultimate goal, Williams remained positive, focusing on the progress she had made despite the setbacks.

"The season's not over. I still have more personal bests to run, but I just want to thank God that I still made the team," she said, emphasizing her determination to continue improving.

The Olympic relay gold medallist also highlighted the improvements in her race execution, crediting her coaches at Titans International for their unwavering support and guidance. She acknowledged the hard work they put into refining her performance and expressed confidence in her increased strength compared to the previous year.

“Definitely a lot stronger than last year. Just a few more things to work on and just focused on being healthy for the rest of the season so I can get lower my times each race.

“Right now it's going well. I'm just happy that I made it without feeling it (the hamstring) and I'm so grateful.”

After changing coaches in the off season, switching from Ato Boldon in Miramar Florida to Titans International Track Club in Kingston, Briana Williams struggled for form this season. Acclimatizing to a new programmes and battling injuries, the Olympic relay gold medallist has been underwhelming for much of the current season.

With that in mind, she would have been pleased with her performance at the JAAA Budapest Quest Meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday night. The 21-year-old Williams uncorked a season-best 11.04 to emerge the victor in the 100m that was run over seven sections.

The time represented a significant drop from her previous best of 11.21 run on June 10 at the same venue. Second overall was Kemba Nelson, who clocked 11.18 while Remona Burchell was third fastest with a time of 11.20.

The Men’s 100m was run over an exhausting 14 sections but in the end Zharnel Hughes produced a strong finish to win his section in 10.00 ahead of the in-form Ackeem Blake, who was timed in 10.07. Promising youngster, De’ Andre Daley clocked a quick 10.08 to be third overall.

Stacey-Ann Williams was the quickest in the 400m winning her section of four in 51.08 with Tovea Jenkins second overall in 52.15. Two years ago, Candice McLeod was on fire running a number of sub-50-second times including a personal best of 49.51 to finish fourth in the 2020 Olympic finals.

Things have not been the same this season. Seemingly struggling to regain the form from 2021, McLeod once again came up short finishing third in 52.66.

Rasheed Dwyer was the quickest in the 200m with 20.57 with Antonio Watson second with 20.63. Bryan Levell was third best in 20.71.

Sashalee Forbes won the women’s event in 23.25 over Jodean Williams (23.75) and Ashley Williams 24.12.

Malik James-King ran 49.67 in the 400m hurdles while Lushane Wilson and Christoff Bryan both cleared 2.20m in the high jump with Wilson being better on the countback to take victory.

Oblique Seville ran a season-best 100m and Shericka Jackson, an impressive 200m season-opener at the May 20 All Comers Meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The 2022 World Championships 100m finalist, who ran a wind-legal 9.95 at the Miramar Invitational on April 8, sped to a 9.94 clocking while shutting down over the last 15-metres to win the time trial.

Rohan Watson, whose previous best this season, was 10.32, shaved a massive 0.20s to be second overall after winning his section in 10.12.

Veteran sprinter Yohan Blake, the second-fastest man of all time, and who was second in Seville’s section in 10.15, was third overall.

The Women’s 100m provided a thrilling encounter between Olympic relay gold medallist Briana Williams, returning from a hamstring injury and Carifta U20 champion Alana Reid.

Williams exploded from the blocks and held a seemingly comfortable lead over Reid, who stormed back late to win in 11.16 over the 2018 World U20 champion, who ran a season-best 11.20.

Tia Clayton was third in 11.36.

The 200m races were no less entertaining as reigning world champion Shericka Jackson, in her first 200m of the season, cruised to victory in 22.25.

In her wake was Olympic 400m finalist Stephenie-Ann McPherson who ran 23.38 and Germany’s Tatiana Pinto, who was third in 23.74.

Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes was in a class of his own in the 200m, winning in a season-best 20.18.

Jazeel Murphy, who won Section six of seven, was second overall with a time of 20.76. Nigel Ellis finished second to Murphy, was third overall in 20.80.

Stacey-Ann Williams showed her class in the 400m winning in 51.43 while repelling the early challenge of Ashley Williams, who finished second in 52.11.

Shana Kaye Anderson was third overall in 54.27.

Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist Kaliese Carter, who at 36, is making a comeback, ran a season-best 54.64 for fourth place.

In the field, Traves Smikle won the discus throw with 66.05m.

Kai Chang was second with his best throw of 62.78m.

Racquil Broderick threw 57.17m for third place.

In the high jump, Christoff Bryan cleared 2.20m for the win over Lushane Wilson 2.15m and Raymond Richards, who cleared 2.10m.

World champion athletes Steven Gardiner and Shericka Jackson are among Caribbean headliners set to compete at the Miramar Invitational at the Ansin Sports Complex on Saturday.

Gardiner, who is making a return after missing the 2022 World Championships in Oregon with an inflamed tendon, will run the 200m against a line-up that includes Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes and Botswana’s World U20 100m champion Letsile Tebogo.

The USA’s Kenny Bednarek will also compete in the half-lap sprint that is expected to be electric.

Meanwhile, Jackson, the reigning world 200m women’s champion, will take on a crack field in what will be her third 400m run for the season. She will line up against fellow Jamaicans, the Olympic finalist Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Janieve Russell and Charokee Young as well as American 400m hurdler Shamier Little and Aliya Adams.

World championships finalist Oblique Seville is among 22 sprinters listed for the 100m. The Jamaican prospect will take on compatriots Ackeem Blake, Andrew Hudson, Raheem Chambers, Oshane Bailey, and Michael Campbell for a lane in the finals.

Cejhae Green of Antigua and Barbuda, Ian Kerr of the Bahamas and Eric Harrison Jr of Trinidad and Tobago will also be aiming to make it into the finals. American veteran Mike Rodgers and current star Ronnie Baker will also be in contention.

Among the women, Briana Williams returns to her former training ground, hoping to make up for her poor performance over 200m at the recent Velocity Fest meet at the national stadium in Kingston. However, she will have her work cut out for her as she runs her first 100m this season.

A crack field has been assembled that includes the mercurial American Sha’Carri Richardson, compatriots Twanisha Terry, Teahna Daniels, Cambrea Sturgis, Melissa Jefferson and Javianne Oliver as well as Jamaicans Natasha Morrison, Jonielle Smith, Shockoria Wallace and Kashieka Cameron.

The 200m dash for women also promises to be intriguing with the likes of Caribbean stars World Championship 400m bronze medallist Sada Williams lining up against Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas and Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte.

The race will also include the supremely talented Abby Steiner, Tamari Davis and Kyra Jefferson.

Machel Cedenio lines up in the 400m against Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas. They will represent Caribbean pride as they do battle with the USA’s Michael Cherry and Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith.

Shafiqua Maloney of St Vincent and the Grenadines will take up the USA’s Ajee Wilson over 800m while Rajay Hamilton goes in the men’s equivalent against Puerto Rico’s Ryan Sanchez.

BVI’s Kyron McMaster will take on Marvin Williams of Jamaica and Andre Colebrook of the Bahamas over the 400m hurdles while Orlando Bennett, Damion Thomas of Jamaica and Shane Brathwaite of Barbados will challenge the might of American Daniel Roberts in the 110m hurdles.

Amoi Brown of Jamaica faces a tough field of Tonea Marshall, Anna Cockrell and Gabby Cunningham in the 100m hurdles that also features Haitian talent Mulern Jean.

In the field events, the long jump for both men and women should provide solid entertainment as 2019 World Champion Tajay Gayle, who has been gradually making a return from a long-term knee injury has been included in a field that also has LaQuan Nairn of the Bahamas and Andwuelle Wright of Trinidad and Tobago.

They will have their hands full facing Japan’s Shoutarou Shiroyama.

The women’s event promises to be an evenly matched affair as Jamaica’s Chanice Porter and Barbados’ Akela Jones will match skills against the USA’s Tiffany Flynn and Taliyah Brooks.

Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Lloydricia Cameron will be aiming for podium spots in the shot put as they take on the likes of Adelaide Aquilla and Khayla Dawson of the USA.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Shericka Jackson and Sada Williams produced standout performances at the Velocity Fest meeting at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday when rising star Tina Clayton took the scalp of Briana Williams in their first encounter as professionals over 200m.

Jackson was the toast of the meet with a stirring run down the home stretch to clock a meet record and season best 50.92, her fastest time ever in March. The reigning world 200m champion has her eyes set on going faster than the 21.45 she ran to win her first ever global title in Eugene, Oregon last summer and on the evidence of what she has accomplished so far this season building on her endurance, she is well on track.

Coming off the final turn, Jackson running in lane six, found herself trailing Elite Performance’s Stacey-Ann Williams, the Olympic 4x400m bronze medallist and simply shifted gears to surge past the 24-year-old quarter-miler towards the finish line.

Williams ran a creditable 51.59 for second place while Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles champion Janieve Russell finished third in 52.77.

The men’s race was equally thrilling with 2022 Carifta Games champion Roshawn Clarke, who is now at Swept Track Club, holding off the field to win in a personal best 45.85.

Titan’s International runner Assinie Wilson clocked 45.95 for second place. Malik Kymani James King ran a season-best 46.39 for third.

The 200m races were run in an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ and both were interesting for different reasons.

The ‘A’ final featured World Championship bronze medalist Sada Williams of Barbados, the 2022 Commonwealth Games champion and she looked every bit the part as she ran down Toyko 4x100m relay gold medallist Natasha Morrison to win in a season-best 22.98.

Morrison held on for second place in 23.24 while Tovea Jenkins was third in 23.91.

The ‘B’ final had two of Jamaica’s rising sprint stars, Briana Williams, who celebrated her 21st birthday on Tuesday, March 21 and 18-year-old Tina Clayton, the World U20 100m champion.

In truth, it was expected to be a close contest, but it wasn’t.

Clayton running inside Williams’ surged past her elder rival midway the curve and extended her lead once she hit the straight before going on to win in 23.69. Williams, who got a poor start and ran a poor curve, tightened up down the stretch and was passed by Indian sprinter Srabandi Wada, who finished second in 23.98, forcing the Jamaican to settle for fourth in a disappointing 24.03.

The Men’s 100m final proved to be anti-climactic as the three main protagonists Zharnel Hughes, Julian Forte and Nigel Ellis, all of whom looked sharp in their preliminary heats, were disqualified after false starts.

Without them, Canada’s Brendon Rodney stormed to victory in a personal best 10.17, just ahead of Wolmer’s Boys Jehlani Gordon who ran a personal best 10.22 and the ‘msyterious’ Sachin Dennis, who was third in a season-best 10.23.

Tyler Mason came up trumps in the 110m hurdles winning in 13.68, well clear of Odario Phillips 13.83 and LaFranz Campbell 13.85.

Elvis Graham of GC Foster established a meet record 74.58m to win the javelin over Oraine Thomas (68.97m) and Devon Spencer 68.32m.

Fedrick Dacres threw 64.29m to win the men’s discus ahead of clubmate Traves Smikle (63.77), and Kai Chang of the University of the West Indies (60.69m

Briana Williams has withdrawn from Saturday's 60m dash at the 2023 Gibson/McCook Relays currently ongoing at the National Stadium in Kingston.

According to insiders, the Olympic relay gold medallist was withdrawn as a precautionary measure after feeling some discomfort in training.

Williams was supposed to go up against Kemba Nelson, Tina and Tia Clayton, Kerrica Hill in a much-anticipated early season clash over the short sprint.

Williams opened her season at the Camperdown Classic two weeks ago winning the 60m dash in 7.22s.

 

In the most anticipated clash between several of Jamaica’s rising-star female sprinters - Briana Williams, Kemba Nelson and Tina Clayton-  are set to compete over 60 metres and the 50th anniversary of the Gibson/McCook Relays at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

US$10,000 in prize money has been guaranteed for the winner of the dash that will also include Jonielle Smith, Kerrica Hill, Tia Clayton and Amoi Brown in what promises to be a mouth-watering showdown of exciting young talent.

Since news emerged earlier this week about the potential starters, debate has raged over who will emerge the winner. Will it be Williams, the Tokyo 2020 relay gold-medallist, who boasts a personal best of 7.04 and who opened her season with a 7.22 clocking at the Camperdown Classic two weeks ago, or will it be Nelson, the 2021 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Champion, who is just 0.01 slower at 7.05?

Or, could it be the World U20 100m champion Tina Clayton, who has run 7.24 two weeks ago?

Noted track writer, author and pundit Hubert Lawrence, believes Williams, having already shaken off some of the rust this season, has the edge over her other celebrated rivals.

“Williams has run a 60 already and will be a little more ready for tomorrow’s race,” he opined while analyzing the line-up for Sportsmax.TV on Friday.

“Kemba hasn’t run any races this season and so is now coming back out onto the track since last year. So, it’s sort of a coming out party for her. The Claytons have run before but Williams is just about the best of them.”

Lawrence, who with Michael Grant recently co-authored 50 Days Afire, chronicling the exploits of several of Jamaica’s biggest track stars, says there are other women to look out for in that race. One, in particular, could be a potential dark horse.

“Also in that race is Kashieka Cameron, who ran a 7.3x and looked really good at the Western Relays at GC Foster a few weeks ago. She started out slowly but finished with a rush.

“When I spoke to her she told me she was training really well and even though she is slim she looked like she had a couple extra pounds of muscle compared to the girl who won the Class 1 100m for Edwin Allen at Champs in 2018. So that’s an X-factor.”

The men’s 60m dash could prove to be equaling thrilling with Jamaica’s three fastest men in 2022 -Akeem Blake, Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville – all expected to be among the starters.

The dash should also include Commonwealth Games 200m silver medallist Zharnel Hughes as well as upcoming talents Jeevan Newby and Nigel Ellis.

Lawrence believes that the men’s 60 could be somewhat open based on how well several youngsters have been performing this season.

“On the men’s side, the X-factor is Kadrian Goldson; at the same Western Relays ran 6.57, finished in a rush,” Lawrence said.

Turning his attention to the big guns, Lawrence remarked that there are questions surrounding Seville’s health, which could be a factor in how well he performs on Saturday.

“We know about Akeem Blake, young, fast. Oblique Seville is in the draw, he has not run a race since last year’s Eugene World Championships,” he said.

“If you look back, you saw him there with kinesio-tape on the back of his hamstring and that has caused Coach (Glen) Mills to hold him out of races until he was 100 per cent. Now, he is in the 60m at Gibson. That’s the watching point. Is Goldson the real thing this season and is Oblique Seville all the way back from his injuries and will he put up a performance in the 6.60’s.”

Lawrence added that young Newby could be someone to watch.

“At the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Invitational ran a 6.62 looking back at the end,” Lawrence said.

“He was second at Champs but chose not to go back to high school and has joined the Motorcade Track Club and the sounds I hear coming from them is that Newby is in terrific shape.

“So, Women’s 60, maybe Briana Williams has the edge because she a bit sharper and in the Men’s 60, is Oblique Seville ready to rock and roll in 2023 after a great 2022 season and is Newby going to continue speeding; he and Goldson are the X-factors.”

 

 

 

 

Briana Williams is set to run another 60m this month and two 200m races in March as she continues preparations for the championship year ahead.

Titans International stars Briana Williams and Ackeem Blake opened their accounts in impressive style over 60m at the Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday night.

Williams, the Tokyo Olympics 4x100m gold medallist, clocked a fast 7.22 to win the dash ahead of Legacy Athletics’ Jura Levy, who ran 7.34.

Rohanna Wright of Swept Track Club ran 7.71 for third.

Blake was just as impressive, winning his short dash in 6.63 running into a negative wind, just holding off his more accomplished club-mate Yohan Blake, who clocked 6.64.

Emmanuel Archibald finished third in 6.70.

Williams, who has been training with the group since September, was chuffed about the performance.

“It felt very quick. I am just happy to be here to start the season,” she said, adding that her training has been going well, working on things that will make her better for the coming season.

“We have been working on endurance and the last part of races and this is just the start getting to the 100 and 200.”

The work, she said, is helping her get to her goals of running consistent 10.7s and 10.8s for the season ahead.

After just five months training in Jamaica, Williams said she feels at home and appreciates the support from the fans and her teammates at Titans.

“I am enjoying my coaches, my teammates and I am enjoying training,” said Williams, who races next in another 60m dash at the Gibson Relays o February 25.

“My teammates push me every day and they encourage me and I am so happy to have them.”

Like Williams, young Blake was pleased with pleased with the outcome.

“My training has been going good so far because I am healthy and I am ready," Blake said. "I have been putting in work and so I was expected to go out there, deliver, and that is what I did tonight.”

 

 

 

 

 

Briana Williams will race over 60m at the Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium on Saturday in what will be her first official competition since she joined Titans International in September 2022.

Williams, who turns 21, next month boasts a personal best of 7.04 while finishing fifth in the 60m final at the World Indoor Championships in Serbia in March, 2022.

It was a significant improvement on the 7.18 she ran at the Armory in New York in February 2020. Her outdoor 60m best of 7.15 was set at the National Stadium in Kingston in January that year.

The Tokyo Olympics gold medallist had trained with Coach Ato Boldon for a decade before making the move to Titans International last year citing a need for a change.

“I’m excited about this new chapter and happy to be training in Jamaica,” Williams said following the move to the club where she now trains under the guidance of coaches Gregory Little and Olympian Michael Frater.

 

After the Camperdown Classic, Williams is set to compete next at the Gibson Relays set to the final Saturday, February 25.

Jamaica’s youngest Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams has awarded scholarships to three Excelsior High School student-athletes valued at JMD$210,000.

Williams, who moved to Jamaica to train last year, is already dedicated to giving back to the community.

Following a Christmas treat that the 20-year-old Olympic champion staged for children in Montego Bay environs last December, Williams will now provide $70,000 each in scholarships to Shakira Rhoden, Shelly-Ann Taylor and Janelia Williams.

Rhoden and Taylor are members of Excelsior’s reigning Anthrick Corporate Area Development Meet 4x100m relay team.

Kayla Harris, who was also a member of that team, awarded her scholarship to teammate Janelia Williams.

Janelia Williams is an ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships (Champs) silver medalist in the 200m.

 The athletes came to Williams’ attention when she read a published interview following the team’s victory at the Anthrick Development Meet in 2022.

In it, they indicated that the multiple Carifta Games gold medalist was a role model.

 When Williams read the article, as well as saw an Instagram post with the athletes, she was thrilled,

“I was so honoured when I read the article in the newspaper stating that I inspire these girls. I wanted to meet them, but leave more than inspirational words. I wanted to support their academic journey,” Briana said.

The scholarship was made possible through Briana’s sponsor GraceKennedy Limited and will be disbursed to the school to cover the cost of books, tuition and other necessities for the 2023 academic year.

 The Briana Williams scholarship will now be an annual offer to aid student-athletes in their academic and sporting pursuits.

"I am committed to giving back to athletes in Jamaica because I know what it's like. It's not easy being a student-athlete.” She shared.

"My sponsor GraceKennedy and I will make this an annual scholarship to deserving student athletes who showcase their athletic talents and are also having good grades."

She encouraged over 100 members of the Excelsior High track team who were present at the ceremony to remain committed to the sport.

"We are committed to helping the next generation in this sport and I want to encourage you to work hard and don't let anybody quell your dreams,” she said.

"Put in the work, listen to your teachers, your coaches and rewrite your goals and recite them every day and don't give up.”

 In 2020, Williams provided 25 tablets to student-athletes forced to attend classes from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also donated furniture and school supplies to educator Stacey-Ann Donaldson who has a reading and homework centre in Rose Gardens, Kingston.

Williams ran the first leg of Jamaica’s gold-medal winning 4x100m effort at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021). She also won silver as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. 

Hundreds of children from Paradise and its surrounding communities in Montego Bay to get Christmas gifts from Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams during the third staging of her annual Christmas Treat on Tuesday, December 21.

Williams, who now trains in Jamaica, feted children at the Paradise Community Centre from 10am to 3pm. The children enjoyed playing on bounce-about rides, a Santa Village, a games screen and gifts from Digicel.

Grace Foods provided boxed lunches, beverages and snacks to each child. 

"For the last two treats, we had to deliver the gifts to each home wearing masks because of the pandemic,” Williams said.

“It's nice to host a fun day and interact with the community. This is what makes Christmas special for the children.

“Special thanks to my sponsors Digicel, Grace Foods and KIG Jamaica for making this a reality for the last three years".

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.

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