Hurdles repeat no surprise, claims Williams
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Despite not having the best season coming into the World Championships it all came together at the right time for Danielle Williams who, like she did in 2015 in Beijing, China, surprised the field to win the gold medal in the 100m hurdles at National Athletics Center in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday night.
Running in lane one Williams, who was competing in her fourth World Championship final, clocked a season’s best 12.43 seconds (-0.2m/s) to beat a quality field, after placing sixth last year in Eugene, Oregon.
Williams, who was third at the National Senior Championships in July, said she was confident coming in and grew even more confident as the days went by. “Just coming here and going through the rounds,I knew,” she told journalists afterwards.
“You know, I had some great sessions with Orlando [Bennett] — don’t tell them I said that — but I beat him all the time in practice,” she joked. “So you know, round one I felt good, round two I felt better, and so I knew. I came out here knowing that if I did what I needed to do, I could win.”
Jamaica’s other finalist Ackera Nugent was fifth in 12.61 seconds as Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn upgraded her bronze from last year to silver in 12.44 seconds, while former world record holder, American Kendra Harrison was third in 12.46 seconds.
World record holder Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, who was cleared of doping charges just days before the start of the championships, was sixth in 12.62 seconds.
Williams refused to accept that her win was unexpected. “By who?” she asked. “I mean, I came out here knowing that I could win. I came out here very very confident — especially after yesterday’s semi — that I could come and win.”
To get her second gold she said she knew that she had work to do.
“I knew I had to put together a solid race, execute a solid race, you know. Walking into the call room coach said, ‘All year you’ve been getting out good and they’ve been catching you towards the end — this is the moment that they’re not going to catch you,’ and I walked in there believing that and this is… the result.”
She paid tribute to the quality field she faced on Thursday night.
“I can’t even describe this field, you know. It’s possible that I would win but until it happens you’re like, ‘If [I win]’. But I can’t describe this feeling. I give God all the glory for this,” said Williams.
Her race strategy, she said, came together at the right time, after mishaps in both previous rounds. “I did what I needed to do; I came off each hurdle staying forward and staying on the gas.”
“It’s awesome, it’s awesome. This is just a testament of all the hard work I’ve done, all the people who stood by me and supported me and pushed me when I felt like I couldn’t go anymore and so I can’t be happier,” Williams stated.