Wed | Nov 25, 2020

Compact 2019 racing schedule for Williams

Published:Thursday | January 24, 2019 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
World Under-20 100m and 200m gold medallist Briana Williams and coach Ato Boldon.

Don’t look for sprint prospect Briana Williams to race here, there and everywhere in 2019. That’s because coach Ato Boldon plans to restrict her to 10 finals each in the 100 and the 200 metres. Boldon has imposed the cap for the second year in a row to prevent burnout.

In an interview with the respected US publication Track and Field News, Boldon recounted, “Last year, she ran eleven 100m finals and ten 200m finals, I don’t want her going over that.”

That racing debut was enough last year to make the Florida-based Williams the fastest 15-year-old of all time in the 100m at 11.13 seconds and to propel her to sprint doubles at the Carifta Games and the World Under-20 Championships.

Room for Diamond League

“Looking at the calendar,” Boldon said, “we have to leave open room for a Diamond League race, maybe a big invitational in the Caribbean.”

A star as a teenager himself in his early days representing Trinidad and Tobago, Boldon insightfully noted, “With a 16-year-old, there’s guarding against complacency because of all the hype surrounding her.”

Boldon, a four- time Olympic medal winner and 1997 World Champion at 200 metres, added, “She’s going to run quite a few high school meets, but we’ll make sure they are very high-quality meets.”

Given that the 16-year-old Williams completed her World Under-20 double with a blazing time of 22.50 seconds in the 200, Boldon entertains the possibility that one day she could reach the US high school record of 22.11 by Allyson Felix. “That high school record could have gone last year,” Boldon says. With the article hinting at a race at a high altitude venue like Mexico City, where Felix set the record in 2003, he said, “We’re emphasising quality races over quantity.”

Williams is tied at number four all-time on the US high school 100 metre performance list. She is fifth fastest of all-time in the 200 metres.