William Knibb sprinter Lavanya Williams inspired by Bolt
William Knibb Memorial's Lavanya Williams (right) eases away from the field to win the Girls' Class Two 100m at the COCAA Western Champs at the STETHS Sports Complex in February. (Photo: Paul Reid)

MARTHA BRAE, Trelawny — Class Two female sprinter Lavanya Williams has never met triple world record holder Usain Bolt, the most famous person ever to attend William Knibb Memorial High, but she says training on the track that helped to produce the best sprinter the world has ever seen inspires her every day to work harder.

Williams, who was born in 2005, two years after Bolt last competed at Champs in the green and purple of William Knibb, said the closest she has ever gotten to him was when he attended a track meet in which she was competing.

"No, I've never met him before but I saw him at a track meet in Kingston," she told the Jamaica Observer earlier this week.

She said training on the same field where he (Bolt) trained when he attended the school, and which he later paid to have resurfaced, is enough.

"Knowing I'm at William Knibb training on the same field as he once use to train on, it inspires me a lot knowing that he did great things for the school and I can do the same and train well on the same track as he did."

The effervescent Williams burst on the scene two years ago when she won the Class Three sprint double while competing for Rusea's High. And after missing Champs last year she says she is back with a vengeance and ready to compete for medals.

"My season has been good so far; I am enjoying my season," Williams said. "My results have been satisfying so far. I ran 11.57 seconds for the 100m and 24.6 seconds for the 200m."

After winning the 100m and placing third in the 200m at the County of Cornwall Athletics Association's Western Champs held in February at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex, Williams says she has targeted the double at the ISSA Champs later this month.

The 17-year-old understands that her work will be cut out for her as she will go up against Hydel High's Shemonique Hazle, Habiba Harris of St Elizabeth Technical, Sabrina Dockery of Lacovia High, and Holmwood Technical's Kiara Meikle as her main rivals in both events.

Paul A Reid

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