Tue | Jun 2, 2020

Williams unconcerned with favourite tag

Published:Wednesday | September 25, 2019 | 12:16 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
National 100m hurdles record holder Danielle Williams enjoys music on her smartphone in training at the Qatar Sports Club on Monday.
National 100m hurdles record holder Danielle Williams enjoys music on her smartphone in training at the Qatar Sports Club on Monday.

Doha, Qatar:

Danielle Williams knows how it feels to stand atop the podium at an IAAF World Championships.

The 27-year-old achieved the feat four years ago when she shocked the world to win the 100m hurdles in Beijing, China.

But, coming into the meet as a clear-cut favourite for the win the gold medal is uncharted waters for Williams, as this is the first time in her career that everyone is expecting her to win the event on a global championships.

The former Queen’s School standout has dominated the athletics circuit with some jaw-dropping performances, including her world-leading performance of 12.32 seconds at the London Diamond League, which also made her the fastest Jamaican ever over 100m hurdles.

However, Williams, in her typical no-nonsense manner, rubbished the ‘favourite’ argument and instead affirmed that she is here to execute her race strategies, as instilled in her by coach Lennox Graham.

“ I don’t pay any attention to favourite tag or any other thing they want to put on to me going into the meet,” Williams told The Gleaner yesterday after a training session here at the Qatar Sports Club.

“It has no bearing on what I am going out there to do. I am just here to focus on my race and on my execution.

“I believe my chances are as good as anyone competing in the event, and hopefully it falls in my favour.”

FAST TIMES

The 2019 Diamond League champion registered four of the six fastest times in the event this year.

But at one stage, the 2019 season seemed like an uphill task for Williams after she was disqualified at the Jamaica Senior Championships in June for a false start, before the entire race was later ruled null and void.

However, her Diamond League win guarantees her a spot here and she is ready to make the best of it.

“The objective was always to get here, so it feels good to be here,” she said.

As was the case in 2017, Williams will be accompanied by three other Jamaicans, with former national record holder Janeek Brown, Yanique Thompson, and Megan Tapper also down to compete in the event.

The preliminary round of the 100m hurdles starts on Saturday.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com