Williams takes aim at Continental gold
Freshly minted Commonwealth Games triple jump champion Kimberly Williams is looking forward to her first appearance at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco, on the weekend and is particularly pleased about representing the region alongside good friend and circuit rival Caterine Ibarguen, from Colombia.
The pair will be competing for Team Americas in the interContinental championships, which takes place at the Stade de Marrakech.
Williams, who also won a silver medal at this year's World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, says she is honoured to not only represent her country, Jamaica, but also all the countries in the region.
"It's an honour and I am excited that I was selected to represent the entire region at the Continental Cup," Williams told The Gleaner.
Getting a spot on the team is just rewards for Williams, who has continued her impressive improvements since qualifying for the finals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.
The 25-year-old is now considered among the world's elite triple jumpers and goes into the championships with a season's best 14.59 metres, the fourth-best jumper in the world this season and even greater confidence after her medal exploits in Poland and Scotland.
"It's been a great year; podium-wise it is my best season," Williams said.
"Stepping on the podium at the World Indoor Championships was a great experience. I was extremely happy because, of course, it was my first major medal. While I was on the podium with the bronze medal, I wondered to myself what it would be like to be up there with the gold. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait tong. I got the opportunity to experience it in Glasgow and it's something that I could definitely get used to," said Williams.
That's the objective in Morocco, where she will not only be competing against Ibarguen, but as her teammate - one of the rare features that the Continental Cup provides for athletes and track and field fans alike.
"Ibarguen is a very good athlete and a lovely person. She smiles and laughs a lot like me. Even though we are rivals, most times when I am jumping she is there cheering for me, shouting: 'Let's go Kimberly'. She says it in Spanish though," Williams laughed.
The women's triple jump is set for Saturday at 12:50 p.m. (Jamaica time).