Williams is back!

FABRIZIO DARBY

Saturday, July 20, 2019

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Danielle Williams shone bright like a diamond at the staging of the Diamond League in London. She set a personal best and National Record time, seventh fastest in world history for the 100 metre hurdles event. Some may even say it was revenge.

Weeks ago we saw it. We heard it. We felt it. The silence of ambivalent emotions has barely even left our National Stadium. As a hurdler, obstacles are a part of the race, but that obstacle was one she couldn't get past: she had false-started. The pandemonium that followed after she refused to leave the track was then at a critical level. You know when an athlete feels it. You know when someone was in the shape to eat up the track like a locomotive. Danielle was ready. Her spirit seemed to linger, as all hell broke loose when she left. Was it that fire? The fire that was finally unleashed in London?

Whatever it was, Danielle has made us proud. She clocked a time of 12.32 seconds, crushing the previous national record of 12.40 seconds that was just set in June by Janeek Brown. Defeating Nia Ali, Queen Claye and fellow Jamaican Megan Tapper in times of 12.57s, 12.64s and 12.66s respectively, blazed Williams' path towards a world-leading time.

Does this cement her place on the national team?

With a performance like this, there's no telling what will happen in the future. Will Williams rejoin the starters of the 100m hurdle race that was canceled at the national championships? In a previous article titled 'On your marks, get set, NO!...' it was opined how the integrity of the sport should be maintained. I continue to stand firm in this stance, a disqualification is a disqualification. However, I am not against second chances in the sense of making it to the national team.

This is the one chance we will get to choose the best of our athletes to represent us. So while it would not be right to cancel a disqualification, there could be other measures that will allow athletes with performances like these to shine. I am glad Williams was able to show us that she was still an athlete worth making the team.

The World Championships in Doha are not here yet, but I can feel the enthusiasm of anticipation seeping in. Athletes from across the globe, including national record-holders will be there. We won't have Bolt, but we could still see some lightning. I eagerly await the performances of our Jamaican athletes, especially our males who have recently been receiving backlash. Will they exceed our expectations? The women who are also doing so amazing will definitely leave us with some very fond memories too. UGH, me really cya wait! With all the brilliant performances from athletes across the world, we will be in for a spectacular treat, but the question remains: will Williams compete?

--Fabrizio Darby


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