MOSCOW, Russia — Despite finishing sixth in her semi-final heat in 13.13 seconds and missing the final by a wide margin, sprint hurdler Danielle Williams was "over the moon" with her first World Championships experiences.
On yesterday's penultimate day of the 14th IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, she lined up against two of her hurdling heroines and while she failed to match strides with them, she had fulfilled a dream.
Sally Pearson of Australia won the heat in 12.50 seconds ahead of American Dawn Harper (12.61 seconds) to advance to the final.
For the seventh consecutive World Championships dating back to Edmonton, Canada 2001, Jamaica had three women in the semi-finals, but for the second straight staging none advanced to the final, as Andrea Bliss was the best placed after the second round with 12.92 seconds.
Bliss placed fifth, while Shermaine Williams was fourth in her heat in 12.93 seconds.
Danielle, the World University Games bronze medallist, graded her experience in the Russian capital as "on a scale of 10 I would give it a 20; it's an awesome experience running against the greatest sprint hurdlers of this era, the Dawn Harpers, the Sally Pearsons, I look up to those people, so I never imagined that I would be in a semi-final with them, so I am over the moon".
Her results were not as great, she said, after running her personal best 12.69 seconds at the JAAA National Championships in June, she failed to get under 13.00 seconds in her two runs after clocking 13.11 seconds in the first round on Friday.
"Personally I am not exactly satisfied with how I ended my season, I wanted to go faster than I did... for some strange reason I have been off, technically, since arriving in Moscow," she said.
"I watched the video of my first round race and compared it to Kazan (World University Games) and I was doing things differently and wasn't sure how to correct it."
Bliss, who won a bronze medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2011 and was fourth at the Commonwealth Games a year earlier, was happy that she had a better race yesterday than the first round, but still came up short.
"I came out here with one intention, to make the final, it didn't happen, but it was a great experience being here. I learned a lot, making the semi-finals, it's a great achievement for me," she said.
While she wasn't that happy with her time, she added. "I can't complain, I wish I could have gone a lot faster, didn't happen, but what can I say?
"I gained a lot," from this championships. "It's my first major team event and to make it to the semis is a great accomplishment," she said.
Shermaine, a World Junior Championships silver medallist, got off to a fast start. "The best start I have had in a long, long, long time, so I am pretty happy with that. It's not the time I wanted, but considering the season that I have been having and no injuries after the race, I am happy."
She plans to go back to the gym for strengthening work as she prepares for the 2014 season.