Boldon says Briana Williams' career as junior is over

Boldon says Briana Williams' career as junior is over

Sunday, January 03, 2021

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Coach Ato Boldon is sticking to his guns that his star pupil Briana Williams' days of competing against juniors were over despite the athlete only turning 18 earlier this year and still being able to defend her World Athletics Under-20 sprint double title in Nairobi, Kenya, next year.

Last year Boldon had told the Jamaica Observer that Williams would not be defending the 100m and 200m titles she won in Tampere, Finland, in 2018 and had said then she had nothing to gain by running against juniors.

Boldon has shifted his stance only slightly, saying:“If Briana runs a junior meet ever again it will be for a mile relay.”

After placing third in the senior women's 100m final at the 2019 Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Championships, Williams had won the 100m gold at the Pan American Juniors in San Jose, Costa Rica, which would have been her final race against her age group.

The plan for 2020 was to try to make the team to the Olympics in Japan and with the World Under-20 set to be held in Nairobi, Kenya earlier, the thinking was that the schedule would be too much.

However, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the postponement and rescheduling of the major meets for 2021, the World Under-20 will come after the end of the Olympics, but not even that will sway Boldon from his plans.

“Every race, now that she's a young professional, must be a step forward. She's done just about everything she can in the junior ranks. She was never going to defend her Under-20 title, no matter what else happened in 2021,” said Boldon.

Williams spent last Sunday in the Paradise, Norwood, area of Montego Bay with members of her family, including her mother Sharon, handing out gifts and toys to mainly young children.

— Paul Reid

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