Delano Williams looks to defend sprint double titles

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Saturday, March 09, 2013

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Munro College's Delano Williams will be chasing history at next week's 103rd staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium when he seeks to defend his Class One sprint double titles.

The 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships 200m gold medallist will seek to go where few have gone before, as he closes out his illustrious Boys' Champs career.

Williams, who also failed in his attempt to make the Great Britain team for last year's Olympic Games in London, will hope to be the first sprinter since Camperdown High's Garfield Campbell, in 1986, to successfully defend the Class One boys' 100m and 200m titles. An injury in 1987 prevented Campbell from going after a three-peat.

The winner of back-to-back 200m titles in 2011 and 2012, Williams, if he wins the 200m, will be the first man since the late Lennox 'Billy' Williams in 1965 to do so.

IAAF World Championships 100m champion and double Olympic Games silver medallist Yohan Blake was the most recent athlete to attempt to retain the double. He won the double in 2007 after winning it in Class Two a year earlier, but was denied in 2008, winning the 100m, then finishing third in the 200m behind teammate Nickel Ashmeade and Calabar High's Ramone McKenzie.

Williams, who is still uncertain about his next move after completing Munro College's sixth form this year, says he hopes to become part of the Glen Mills Racers Track Club stable while attending college. He ran a personal best 10.32 seconds to win the Class One 100m at Western Championships last month, and a season's beat 20.79 seconds, running into a head wind, to win the 200m.

The double at Western Champs was Williams' ninth-straight individual gold medal at the regional championships, his only loss coming in the 100m in Class Two in 2009 when he was beaten by teammate Rolando Reid in the final held at St Elizabeth Technical in Santa Cruz.

Williams has so far won seven individual medals at Champs after placing fourth in the 100m in Class Two in 2009, and was third in the 200m that year.

In 2010 he was third in the Class Two 100m behind Wolmer's Boys' Odean Skeen, who took the double, and Jazeel Murphy of Bridgeport, and a year later, won another bronze in the 100m in his first season in Class One and his first gold in the 200m.

Last year was to be his best ever as he won both gold medals in 10.37 seconds and 21.18 seconds, respectively, the latter running into a negative 3.3 metres per second wind, before going on to win the 200m in Barcelona, Spain.

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