Williams looking to ‘shock the world’ at Rio Olympics
After securing her fifth consecutive national title, Olympics-bound triple jumper Kimberly Williams is hoping to show the improvements she has made since her maiden appearance at the Games four years ago and wishes to inspire youngsters to get involved with the event.
Williams, who is just coming back from a hamstring injury, registered a wind-assisted 14.66 metres to win at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships inside the National Stadium on Sunday, ahead of Shanieka Thomas, 14.44m, who is also heading to the Olympics and is coming back from injury herself. Shardia Lawrence, 13.28m, finished third.
Williams also jumped 14.56m, an improvement on her previous season best of 14.38m.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games champion and World Indoor Championships bronze medal winner says she is heading to Rio de Janeiro next month to make a mark and push for a medal - a much bigger ambition than the one she had four years ago in London as a bright-eyed youngster, who was just happy to be part of the show.
"I'm very excited because this is the pinnacle of the sport, so I am just excited to be there to compete, and I hope to take it one step at a time and try to make the finals," Williams told The Gleaner.
"In London, I was just excited to be there for the experience, but four years later I am way better than that. I am going there to fight and try to get a medal.
"Between now and Rio, I just need a few more meets so I can get my rhythm together. When I get to Rio I just need to trust the process and be patient. I need to ensure I have that fighting spirit, to be aggressive and to jump every jump like it's my last jump," she resolved. "I want to go out there and fight so that everyone that I care about, and my country, can be proud of me."
Williams, who was forced to pull out of the Doha Diamond League meeting earlier this season because of a hamstring issue, says she was always confident that she would return to her best and is excited that she will have Thomas' company in the Brazilian capital.
She is hoping that they can both perform well at the Olympics and push the event in the country.
"I knew I would get healthy; it was taking longer than expected - like a hamstring injury is normally four to six weeks, and in my case, after four weeks I would still not see any improvements, and I would wonder a bit if I'd be fit in time. But my coach always tells me to be patient, so having those people around me to remind me that all my hard work will pay off and that I need to just wait on God's time really helped," said Williams.
"Thomas? I will tell her what Trecia-Ann Smith told me when I just started, just go and enjoy yourself, you have done your training and everything so you just have to trust that and believe in yourself, believe that you deserve to be here and you will do well," she mentioned in reference to Shanieka Thomas, who is actually the leading Jamaican this year with a best of 14.57m.
"She (Thomas) is very mature and you can see the fire in her, and I'm just happy to have her there and, hopefully, we can shock the world and show everyone that we can do well and achieve success in other areas besides sprinting," she added.
"It's my hope that when the young kids here see the both of us competing at the Olympics they will feel inspired to branch out into the jumps or field events, and not just focus all their attention on the sprinting."
Williams is next scheduled to compete at the Monaco Diamond League meet on July 15.