Mon | Aug 21, 2017

London 2017 | Remember me for being fearless - Williams-Mills

Published:Wednesday | August 9, 2017 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe
Novlene Williams-Mills after her 400 metres semi-final on Monday. She will run in today's final at 3:50 p.m.

LONDON, England:

Novlene Williams-Mills will today compete in her last individual race at the IAAF World Championships in the final of the 400 metres inside the London Stadium.

Williams-Mills, 35, who will run from lane two, is competing in her seventh World Championships and says she wants to be remembered in the sport as a strong competitor and as someone who always gave her all, regardless of the challenges in front of her.

The quarter-mile stalwart has been a constant on Jamaican teams at international championships since the 2004 Olympics in Athens, when she made it to the 400m semi-finals and helped Jamaica to a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay.

She has represented the country at every Olympic Games and World Championships since then, with stellar participation also coming at other international competitions such as the Commonwealth Games and World Indoor Championships.

Heading into tonight's final, which gets under way at 9:50 p.m. (3:50 p.m. Jamaica time), Williams-Mills boasts a World Championships gold medal, three Olympic silver and one bronze, four World Championships silver plus a bronze, as well as Commonwealth Games gold, silver and bronze.

"I want to be remembered as a fierce competitor, the one who does not back down regardless of what she goes through in life," said Williams-Mills, who famously competed at the 2012 Olympic Games and helping Jamaica to a 4x400m silver, shortly after learning that she had breast cancer.

"The one thing that people really associate me with is being a breast cancer survivor, but I am more than that and I know I have been a great competitor over the past couple of years," she said.

Williams-Mills placed third in her heat and semi-final at the London 2017 World Championships with times of 51.00 and 50.67 seconds.

 

PLAY KEY ROLE

 

She is not among the favourites for a medal here, but will play a key role as Jamaica look to defend the relay gold they won in Beijing two years ago on the back of a monster anchor leg from the veteran athlete.

That remains among her fondest memories on the track.

"There are a lot of great memories, but I always tell people that everything after 2012 are things I hold dear to my heart and 2015 was one of them, for that 4x400m gold that we won," Williams-Mills said. "Just to watch and go back to that race and the reaction on my teammates' faces was priceless, and that's something I will hold dear to my heart."

On competitors, the Jamaican had an extensive list of those she enjoyed competing against.

"Over the years, there have always been several persons, but there are a couple of them I know I can't take for granted at any point. Christine Ohuruogu from Great Britain, she has been a fierce competitor; Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson (Felix) and now Shaunea Miller (Uibo) as well as Shericka Jackson, who has stepped up to the plate; and Jamaica always have some great runners. Shericka Williams was one of them, so it's not just one or two persons," she noted.

Felix, Miller-Uibo and Jackson will join her in the final and whatever the outcome, Williams-Mills is comfortable in knowing that she will sign off like she started - by giving her best.