A maturing Briana Williams fires 2019 warning with 23.29s 200m run

By March 04, 2019

An already fast Briana Williams has her coach Ato Boldon thinking 2019 could be another special year for the young sprinter following her impressive 200m run at the John Battle III All-Star Invitational in Hallandale, Florida on Saturday.

Williams, the 2018 IAAF World U20 100 and 200m champion, sped to a 23.29s clocking, her fastest ever opener and the fastest time in the USA this season. With Jan’Taijah Ford (23.30) breathing down her neck the whole way, Williams, as she did Tampere last year, held on for an impressive win.

The time represents a strong start to the outdoor season for the 16-year-old world champion, who is aiming to represent Jamaica in the 100m at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September.  It is on that basis that Boldon believes something special could be in the offing for the young speedster this season.

“Well, there are no guarantees, but “what is past is prologue” as far as I’m concerned. In 2017, she started in the 11.9/mid-24s and ended up at 23.6/11.30. Last year, she started 11.5/23.7 ended 11.13/22.50. This year, she started two months later and has lifted much less. Maybe half the gym time, so to see this start is encouraging,” Boldon told Sportsmax. TV on Monday.

“She’s put her usual lofty goals out there, and just like last year every day is geared to achieving them.”

Boldon said that beyond the fast opener, Williams, who turns 17 later this month, has demonstrated personal growth as well.

“I have seen a maturity in her this year. Less phone, eating much better and making sacrifices that she never would have two years ago. She told me she likes the 4x4 now,” Boldon revealed.

“Briana isn’t stupid. She knows listening to me about that 4x4 is why she ran 22.50 with no wind last year after five rounds. As a result, she is constantly looking for new challenges, so she’s decided to run indoors at 60m this coming weekend at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York.”

What has impressed Boldon are the changes Williams is making without prompting as she continues to embrace the reality of what she could become - the next track and field great - following on the heels of the likes Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

“Giving up soda, less sugar, no junk food, no desserts, less being on the phone. She came to me one week and showed me her phone. She had deleted her Instagram app. I almost fainted. When a young athlete starts doing that kind of thing, starts wanting it like she wants to breathe air, watch out.”






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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