Injury free, stronger and faster than ever, Danielle Williams is enjoying competing once more

By February 10, 2022
Danielle Williams on her way to a personal best 60m hurdles performance at New Balance Grand Prix last weekend Danielle Williams on her way to a personal best 60m hurdles performance at New Balance Grand Prix last weekend Twitter

Free of injury and embracing a new mindset are among the key factors why Danielle Williams is enjoying her sport once more.

The 2015 World 100m hurdles champion and 2019 bronze medalist is off to a fast start this season, losing just once, a third-place finish in the 60m dash at the Clemson Invitational on February 14.

A week earlier she ran 38.57 to win an indoor 300m at Clemson.

Since then she is 2-0 in finals, winning the 60m hurdles in Karlsruhe, Germany in 7.84 and then just last weekend at the New Balance Grand Prix in New York, Williams ran a new lifetime best of 7.83, the second-fastest time in the world this year.

Only 100m hurdles world-recorder Kendra Harrison with 7.81 has run faster.

She explained to Sportsmax.TV earlier this week that so far this season she has been healthy and happy.

“Last year was a disastrous season and so this year I have had a renewed mindset. I am determined to not have as disastrous a season, I can’t repeat that”, she said from her base in South Carolina.

“Last year I started the season injured, I finished the season injured so I am of the mindset that I have to stay healthy this year. I love competing so I am trying to find the fun in what I am doing once more because I wasn’t having fun last year. So that’s my only desire this year, to stay healthy, to have fun and to compete well.”

This season has been markedly different from 2021 when a raft of injuries hindered her preparation, her ability to compete and played a part in Williams missing out on Jamaica’s Olympic team for the second consecutive cycle. She said it was a difficult time.

 “Last year this time I was injured, I had foot problems, I couldn’t run, I had to take a month off,” she said.

“I was down in the dumps for a lot of last year. I lost my confidence.

“I started doubting myself and my ability because I was injured all the time and I wasn’t as strong and it was affecting a lot of things so (this year) I have taken a different approach to the gym, I have taken a different approach to practice, to recovery and I am doing all the little things that I didn’t pay enough attention to and that has led to improvements in a lot of areas on the track but mostly off the track and definitely in my mindset going into practice and into competition.”

The biggest change, she said, is with her physicality.

“The difference this season is that I am healthy and I am stronger, much, much stronger,” she said. “I changed weight programmes so I am more powerful and strong.”

Armed with greater confidence and greater strength, Williams is approaching the full season with greater optimism. She is looking forward to the World Championships in Oregon in the summer and is not ruling out the Commonwealth Games where she won silver on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018.

“I plan to take it one step at a time. I am definitely targeting trying to go to World Indoors when that is finished we will turn our attention to the outdoor season,” she said. “I am pretty sure World Championships is the main target.”

Regarding the Commonwealth Games, she said, she isn’t sure what Coach Lennox Graham has planned but the Diamond League circuit is also in her plans for the season.

“We are going to try to do as much as we can,” she said.

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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