Williams-Mills wins 400m in Stockholm - Facey second in 200 metres
Arain-Sodden evening at the Olympic Stadium took the gloss off the Stockholm Diamond League meeting, where Jamaica’s Simone Facey and Novlene Williams-Mills were put through their paces in the 200 metres and 400m, respectively.
Facey was second in the 200m in 22.81. The event was won by Great Britain’s Dina AsherSmith in 22.72. Another British athlete, Desiree Henry, was third in 22.88.
Williams-Mills took the 400m in a relatively slow 52.29 seconds. Anyika Onuora of Great Britain, 52.46, was second, while Italy’s Libania Grenot took third in 52.62.
Both Jamaican athletes were the form choice for the win ahead of their events, and while Facey was unable to match her fellow Jamaican’s victory in the longer of the two sprints, the Manchester-born athlete was pleased with her second-place finish.
Two days of sunshine before the meeting served as a ruse for both athletes, who had mentally prepared to run fast in what will be their penultimate competition before their national Olympic trials.
Glad to have to come through the competition without any niggles or injuries, Facey told The Gleaner that this season had been good so far, but now it was time to ramp it up.
“I was surprised that the weather turned out to be like this because it has been really sunny here in Stockholm. So the conditions were tough, but ... I am just happy I was able to get here and finish the race healthily.
“Now, I get to focus on the trials, where I am definitely going to double up in the 100 and 200m.
“I want to make the team as an individual this year. I don’t want to go the Olympics as just part of the relay team. I feel great. There are a few things I need to work on in the 200m and in the 100m. I need to focus on staying down for a little longer and then, hopefully, the times will come.
“I don’t focus on others and what they are doing, but obviously, Veronica (Campbell-Brown) and Elaine (Thompson) are ahead of me right now.
“I’m confident about the trials, and we’ll have to see what happens when we get there.”
Williams-Mills, 34, did well to secure the win following a false start by Italian Libania Grenot, but assessing her race, the Olympian said it was difficult to take too many positives from her performance as she was conscious of the wet conditions.
Looking forward to the national Olympic trials, the St Ann-born sprinter said she expected everyone to bring their A-game.
Commenting on whether she thought it would take a sub-50 second run to win the national trials, she said: “I don’t know what it’s going to take to beat anyone. I am not focused on anyone other than myself.
“The most important thing is always making the team. I know the rest of the girls are going to put on a show, so it’s for me to come and compete also.
“I came here today to get the win. I did that and I am healthy, so I feel good moving forward.”
Asked if this would be her last Olympic Games should she make the team, Williams-Mills responded emphatically: “Yes, most definitely!”