Sport

Williams braces for big occasion in London

BY PAUL BURROWES Observer writer

Sunday, July 08, 2012    

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WHEN Kimberly Williams takes part in the triple jump at the London Olympic Games on August 3, she will have represented Jamaica at almost all the major junior and senior global championships.

With that experience, the 23-year-old rising star hopes to make a big mark this summer.

All-Athletics.com, the most comprehensive track and field database on the web, ranks Williams as number seven in the Women's triple jump and the second youngest athlete in the top 10, which includes 20-year-old Cuban Dailenys Alcántara.

The Vere Technical past student who earned her bachelor's degree with honours in sports management at Florida State University, is eager to take part in her first Olympic Games.

"I feel privileged and proud to have made the Olympic qualifying standard which enables me to be selected to represent Jamaica... in London," said the reigning Central American and Caribbean Games champion.

A fifth-place finisher at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey last March, Williams achieved the A qualifying standard of 14.30 metres at the Jamaica International Invitational Meet (JII) in May when she won with 14.33m.

She improved her personal best to 14.52m at the Rome Diamond League on May 31, signalling her readiness for the most prestigious quadrennial event.

Born in Danvers Pen, St Thomas, Williams attended Seaforth Primary before heading to Vere. At the age of 14, she represented Jamaica at the 2003 Carifta Games in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, winning the triple jump in the Under-17 category.

She went to compete at the World Youth Championships in 2005, and the CAC Junior Championships, Pan American Junior Championships and World Junior Championships in 2006.

Three years later, Kimberly leaped over 14m for the first time and though not at her best at the CAC in Havana, Cuba that year, she won the bronze with a mark of 13.78m.

Also that year, at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Williams failed to advance to the final of the triple jump. She was 15th overall, however, with a jump of 14.08m.

Williams won the CAC Games in Puerto Rico in 2010 and at the Daegu World Championships in South Korea in 2011, she again failed to advance to the final, but this time ended 14th overall.

This year has been a great one for the Jamaican, as she points out.

"My season so far has been great. I finished fifth at the World Indoor Championships; I've improved on my personal best which has improved my rankings as one of the top 10 jumpers in the world. It has also enabled me to be invited to Diamond League meets in Rome, New York, London and Monaco."

Great also for Williams in 2012 was that for the first time in as long as she can remember, all her six jumps were good. This she attained at the New York Diamond League on June 9, with all marks over 14m. She placed second with 14.45m.

"I think it's important to have all six jumps because it opens up the possibility that one or two of these could be great jumps," she explained.

Williams attributes her improvements in 2012 to having graduated from college so that she could "devote more time to training which has allowed me improve on my technique".

An outstanding NCAA Division One athlete, winning both indoor and outdoor titles, Williams needs to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada to have competed in all junior and senior championships available to Jamaican athletes.

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