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London 2017 | I don't get the respect I deserve - Williams

Published:Monday | July 31, 2017 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe
World and national 100m hurdles champion Danielle Williams clears a hurdle in training yesterday at the University of Birmingham, where team Jamaica’s camp is based, ahead of Friday’s start of the IAAF World Championships in London, England.


When she crossed the line in first place in the 100m hurdles at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China, it came as a surprise to most.

Two years later, Danielle Williams again finds herself in the 'underdog' spot as she gets ready to defend her title at the London 2017 World Championships, which starts this Friday at the London Olympic Stadium.

It's not something she is too concerned about, though.

Williams, who won her third national title with a personal best of 12.56 seconds, run in June, admitted that she does not feel that she gets the respect that she deserves, and although she understands the reasons, she is again hoping to register another surprise in an event that American world record holder Kendra Harrison is widely expected to dominate.

"No, I don't (get the respect I deserve)," Williams told The Gleaner yesterday. "But in a way, I understand. The Americans are dominant, and I don't race a lot in the Diamond League before or after I won (in 2015), so people do not really know what I'm capable of."

Williams is, however, confident that this can in fact act as an advantage for her.

"It is [an advantage]. I'm able to fly under the radar and sort of escape the pressures, and I am able to focus on myself and not possible expectations," Williams said.

She gave a glimpse of her ability to keep pace with a close 12.58 seconds third-place finish at the Monaco Diamond League recently, where she met all the event's big names. So, perhaps, another podium-topping finish would not be too much of a surprise this time for track and field supporters.

Either way, Williams knows very well what she is capable of and is aware that she will enter the championships in the best form of her life, with her three fastest times this year coming in her last five races.

"I'm way ahead this year in terms of preparation. I did extensive background work, and I'm stronger and faster than 2015. I've been consistent in practice and in races, so that leads to a huge confidence lift," Williams added.


Danielle 'Ants' Williams' top 3 times this season



12.56 seconds - JAAA National Senior Athletics Championships, Kingston.

12.58 seconds - IAAF Diamond League, Monaco.

12.70 seconds - Johnson C. Smith Invitational, Charlotte, North Carolina.