Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams is causing considerable excitement among track and field fans. At 15, she has clocked a personal best of 11:13 seconds in the 100 meters, making her the fastest female of her age in the history of the event. Her performance at the CARIFTA games in the Bahamas brought her the Austin Sealy Award for breaking a 20-year-old 100-meter record with a time of 11:27 seconds. She also had a personal best in the 4×100-meter relay, clocking 23:11 seconds, which helped her team win the title in the event for Jamaica.
Briana’s coach Ato Boldon, the former world champion and a multi-Olympic-medal winner from Trinidad and Tobago, said he was pleased with her performance at CARIFTA. Boldon expected her to have a faster time in the 200-meters but acknowledged that Briana had been pushed to her limits by competing in five races in three days. He said it was a “sign that she is becoming a champion.” The coach went on to say that “nothing she can do in 2018 would surprise me” after watching her train and lift weights. However, Boldon, who has a stellar reputation as a global track and field analyst, notes there are no guarantees for senior success. He does believe that Briana has the tools to do well and will benefit from his experience and philosophy.
While noting her physical strength, Boldon explained that senior success involves the ability to cope with early losses. “When you go from constant winning as a junior to almost never winning at the next level, that’s as big a reason why many young stars fizzle out,” he said.
In her next move, Briana, who is based in the United States, will be focusing on her high school state championships. the National Junior Championships, and the World Under-20 Championships. “She has that unique ability to rise to the occasion. She will lose races, but you will never see her have a bad performance in a big race. She’s a gamer,” said Boldon.
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