'It just wasn't to be'

Danielle Williams reflects on failed bid in sprint hurdles


Saturday, August 12, 2017

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London , England — A distraught Danielle Williams could not contain her disappointment as all four Jamaican hurdlers were eliminated at the semi-final stage here yesterday.

Williams, Megan Simmonds, Yanique Thompson and Rushelle Burton all dropped out after safely navigating their way from the heats earlier in the day.

Williams was fifth in 13.14 seconds (0.5 m/s), while Yanique Thompson was third in 12.88 seconds in the second semi-final. American Christina Manning won in 12.71 seconds ahead of Alina Talay of Belarus in 12.85 seconds.

The Jamaican defending champion, running out of lane four, got out just behind Manning in lane five, hit the first hurdle, clattered into the next, and never recovered sufficiently enough to challenge for a spot in the final.

“I crashed into the first hurdle.Maybe I got too close to it, that's the only reason why you crash into the first hurdle. I tried to recover and it was over from there,” she noted.

“It's really tough,” said Williams, as she took a deep breath. “I had a very good session going out onto the track. I was feeling confident that I could finish in top two and get to the final,” she said.

“It's a race and that's why we run the races. Two years ago I had a surprise victory and this year I crashed out in the semis, so I have to work with the punches,” Williams continued.

Williams, who had looked awesome in her first-round heat, easing home in 12.66 seconds, and looked to be in the form of her life, promised she would bounce back.

“It's not going to be difficult at all. We run the races and we know it's barriers, and barriers get you down sometimes. Just have to bounce back. Definitely not the finish I had hoped for. I saw myself in the final challenging for a medal, but it wasn't to be. I just have to trust in God's plan. It just wasn't to be,” she reiterated.

In that same race was one Yanique Thompson, who encountered less problems and finished strongly in third. She was just edged out as one of the fastest losers by world record holder Kendra Harrison of the USA, who was third in the final semis in 12.86 seconds.

Earlier in the first-round heat, Thompson had placed third in heat three in a season's best 12.88 seconds. The race was won by world record holder Kendra Harrison in 12.60 seconds, which was the quickest into the semi-finals.

The 21-year-old Thompson, who was the first high school girl under the 13-second barrier, was a bit disappointed she fell short of the final.

“It was a very good experience at the senior level. However, I think I should have made more use of the experience because I am feeling disappointed in my second race, because normally after my first race I get better. It just felt casual to me,” she noted.

“I know that if I tried to be more aggressive I know I could have made the final, but it didn't happen,” she said.

The diminutive Megan Simmonds also looked extremely good in the first round where she won in 12.78 seconds ahead of American Nia Ali in 12.93 seconds, with Canada's Phylicia George third with 13.01 seconds.

She returned for the semis but could not repeat that polished display and was fourth in semi-final one in 12.93 seconds. Sally Pearson of Australia won in 12.53 seconds, ahead of Ali with 12.79 seconds. Nadine Visser of the Netherlands was third in 12.83 seconds, and booked her spot in the final.

Jamaica's fourth entrant Rushelle Burton was also third in the first round in heat four in 12.94 seconds, behind Sally Pearson of Australia who won in 12.72 seconds. American Dawn Harper Nelson in 12.88 seconds, was second.

But in the semi-final, the American veteran showed her vast experience and raced away to a season's best of 12.63 seconds, ahead of Pamela Dutkiewicz of Germany in 12.71 seconds. Kendra Harrison, who had a bad race technically, recovered for third in 12.86 seconds, and squeezed into the final as the last qualifier. Burton was fifth in 12.94 seconds.




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