Move approved
Olympian Bailey supports Williams' Titans switch
Jamaica’s Briana Williams competes in the women’s 4x100m heats during the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. (Photo: Collin Reid)

Olympian Aleen Bailey says Titans Track Club provides the right kind of environment for sprinter Briana Williams to take her career to the next level.

Williams announced last month that she is leaving the camp of Ato Boldon, to be trained by Gregory Little and Michael Frater at Titans. Her decision to change clubs has been the topic of much discussion in the public sphere with many in the track and field fraternity debating not only whether the time had come for her to seek a new coach, but also what club would be the most ideal for her.

But Bailey, who like Williams has an Olympic gold medal in the Women's 4x100m relays, says that Titans has the right personnel to provide the motivation she needs to excel.

"I think it would be great for her, because she will have Frater and [reigning national 100m champion] Yohan [Blake], who have a wealth of experience and she will have training partners that will push her to be her best," Bailey told the Jamaica Observer.

BAILEY... she will have training partners who will push her to be her best.

While Elite Performance Track Club features Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as its marquee sprinter, New Era has Elaine Thompson-Herah, and MVP Track Club has Shericka Jackson, Williams now becomes the first high-profile female sprinter at Titans. There are questions about Frater and Little's experience training a high-profile female sprinter, but Bailey compares Williams' situation to her time at Racers Track Club under the guidance of Head Coach Glen Mills.

"Some females thrive better with just male training partners," she said. "I was the only female athlete at Racers when the group just started. So maybe she prefers that type of setting and females benefit more from training with male sprinters."

Frater, like Bailey, and Williams has Olympic gold in the 4x100m relays. Bailey, a friend of and former national teammate of Frater, says he has the personality Williams needs in a coach.

"He's a kind, gentle and caring person, kinda like Ato," she said. "She will get that attention."

Jamaica's Briana Williams recently made the switch to Titans Track Club.

Williams' departure from Boldon's camp was an amicable one between both parties, with Boldon giving his blessing for her to relocate to Jamaica. Bailey provides some clarity on this.

"I'm sure Ato will be involved in some form because he and Frater have been good friends from track days," she said.

Williams, a former World U-20 double sprint champion and former national junior 100m record holder, at 20 years old has a personal best of 10.94 seconds over 100m, and 22.50 over 200m, a national junior record over the distance.

BY RACHID PARCHMENT Digital sports coordinator parchmentr@jamaicaobserver.com

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