Briana Williams finishes sixth in 200m, but happy with season openerSunday, April 18, 2021
BY HOWARD WALKER
Despite finishing sixth in the 200m at the Miramar Invitational, Jamaica's World Under-20 sprint double gold medallist Briana Williams was pleased with her performance.
Williams clocked 22.93 seconds (+2.3 m/s) in a world-class field won by American Jenna Prandini in 22.29. Jamaica's double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah was fourth with 22.44.
Williams, who turned 19 years old on March 21, was running her first 200m in two years.
“This is my fastest season opener ever, so I am just grateful and happy to be back to competing and looking forward to a great season,” said Williams.
The teen sprint sensation has a personal best of 22.50 established in July 2018 when she struck gold at the Under-20 World Championships in Finland.
Williams, drawn in lane six, looked a bit rusty and her usual explosive start was not evident, but she held her own and should be much better next time around.
“I don't train to get sixth place, but I also understand the process,” she posted on her Facebook page.
“I am pretty shocked with my time. My coach said I am going to run fast, which I did, and I am very happy... I finished a healthy race,” she pointed out in a video posted on her page.
“I am just happy to run with the best of the best and I am pretty happy with the race. I wished I could have held my form to the end, but we still have more work to do in training.
“But 22.93 is my fastest opening ever and I am pretty grateful for that,” she reiterated.
Meanwhile, her coach Ato Boldon, no slouch himself in his heyday, having won the 200m gold at the 1997 World Championships, noted that it was a good display from Williams in her first 200m in 22 months.
“She knows it's a road back to 2019-type fitness after a long lay-off and a little injury indoors,” said Boldon.
“I'd have loved a faster time today but she's healthy and happy and she will continue to improve as she races,” he added.
Williams, who has a 100m personal best of 11.02, is eager to make her seasonal debut over that distance.
“My next race will be 100m in the new Oregon stadium on April 24, and I can't wait to see how I do,” she said gleefully.
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