Briana’s blueprint - Boldon pleased with star sprinter’s progress
As a former world junior champion himself during his athletic career, Ato Boldon is aware of the intricacies that come with the life of a track athlete and is using that experience as he continues to coach Jamaica’s newest sprint sensation, Briana Williams.
Following Williams’ recent triumph at the 2019 Pan American U-20 Athletics Championships, where she won the women’s 100m and was a member of the 4x100m team that won silver, Boldon commented on his aathlete’s performances so far this season.
“This season has gone almost exactly as we planned, the only exception being that we were thinking about doing both events at the World Championship,” Boldon said. “Our focus has kind of changed more towards the 100m. Let’s do whatever we can in the 100m and get ready for the relays because those are the two most important things that Briana has scheduled.”
Boldon explained that there were varying factors that led to this shift in priority. One such factor was her health at the Nationals Trials, which caused her to withdraw from the half-lap event, citing a medical exemption after she was reported to be running a fever.
The other factor, Boldon said, was that she was consistently doubling the 100m and 200m at many events this season.
“She was scheduled to double at quite a few places even though not all of them have worked out. She doubled at Carifta trials and at Carifta,” Boldon said. “She was actually scheduled to double at NACAC, but she was having some issues with the track so I pulled her from the 200m at that meet. She’s done enough doubles this year.”
After her win at the Pan Ams Juniors, there were issues raised about her fitness as Williams did not have the comfortable finish for which she has become known. Boldon confirmed that Williams was indeed having a few problems concerning her ankle but laid to bed the rumours of it being a serious injury.
“When it gets cold, sometimes her ankle can bother her. I don’t know why. In fact, this has never happened before at a meet, and I’ve been coaching her for five years now,” the coach sought to explain. “This is very much a one-time thing, which was why she was able to run the relay the day after.”
As she calls a close to her career as a junior, Boldon revealed that Williams has many options available to her regarding her senior career, which are all being carefully handled and evaluated.
“Briana has a lot of options. I think she has more options than anyone at seventeen years old has had in the sport. So those are all being very carefully weighed right now, and in short order, everyone will know what Briana will be doing and not doing in the coming months and years,” said Boldon.
– Gregory Bryce