Sun | Sep 22, 2019

‘It’s great news’ - Laid-back Williams ­staying focused after JAAA ­decision

Published:Saturday | August 17, 2019 | 12:20 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter

National 100m hurdles record holder Danielle Williams is not allowing herself to get carried away with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) recent eligibility ruling, as she looks to take her impressive form into the business end of the season.

Williams described the JAAA’s decision to open the door to her selection for the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, next month as ‘great news’, but is determined to remain focus as she continues her preparation for a potential assault on the gold medal in Doha.

“It is great news,” Williams told The Gleaner. “But all it means is that I may have more than two more races left to run this season.”

In a total departure from their original position, the JAAA on Thursday declared that Williams was eligible for selection for the September 27 - October 6 championships.

The local athletics regulators had originally ruled that the 2015 world champion would not be considered for selection after a controversial 100m hurdles final at the National Senior Championships in June, where she caused a lengthy delays by refusing to leave the track after she was ejected for what was judged to be a false start.

The race was eventually deemed “null and void” by the JAAA, after subsequent efforts to complete the event didn’t materialise and in a release to the media, the JAAA noted the change in position after what it described as international consultation.

Williams has over the past few weeks, established herself as a real contender for the gold medal in the event at the World Championships, after blitzing to a national record and a world-­leading time of 12.32 seconds at the London Diamond League in July.

This time was registered an hour after she had ran a personal best 12.41 seconds in the preliminary round of the same event, as she underlined her threat to the all-powerful group of American sprint hurdlers led by world record holder Kendra Harrison.

The victory in London also made her the front-runner in the Diamond League race, an avenue, which at one point seemed like Williams’ only route to the World Championships via the accompanying wild card entry.