With no races, hard work to keep Williams sharp for Diamond League quest

By July 25, 2019

Lennox Graham, the coach of Danielle Williams has a simple plan to keep her running fast in her quest to win the Diamond League title this season.

Following her world-leading 12.32 seconds in the 100m hurdles at the Mueller Anniversary Games in London on Saturday, June 20, Jamaica’s Danielle Williams faces a month-long lay off until she competes again at the Birmingham Diamond League on August 18.

The time not only made Williams the fastest in the world this year, but it also puts her atop the IAAF world rankings in the hurdles event.

Wins in Birmingham and Brussels are critical to the 2015 world champion, who needs the Diamond League title in order to qualify for the Jamaican team for the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha.

She missed direct qualification when she false-started and was disqualified from the event on the final night of the Jamaican championships on June 23.

With that, winning the Diamond League is her only other way into Doha where she would be hoping to win a second world title. How then does she stay sharp for her next race that comes up in Birmingham and then the Diamond League final in Brussels on September 6?

“We will be doing intense training during the break in racing to be prepared for those two meets. We planned the schedule with her agent (Cubie Seegobin) since February and we are fortunate that he was able to get us the planned meets,” said Graham, who has been Williams’ coach since her freshman year at Johnson C Smith University where she won several NCAA Division II titles.

“She has not raced much back-to-back weeks because we have to design training breaks. The training breaks keep training load on her so that her body does not think the season is over,” Graham explained.

A four-time Jamaican champion, Williams ran a personal best 12.48 at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm in June 2018. With her national record run in London last weekend, she shaved a massive 0.16s from her previous best.

Graham suggested that Williams’ progress this season is merely a reflection of the continuing development in her career.

“It is a continuum. We plan, implement, observe and adjust. Then the cycle continues. We have been systematically doing this all her career.  This year we have arrived at her best execution of the prescribed model. Are there still things to change? As a coach, we continue to find more things that can result in better execution of her race model,” he said while revealing that the world-leading run in London did not really take them by surprise.

“We both know she was in PB shape based on practice results but I am not in the habit of predicting times. Then based on Monaco (where she was second to Kendra Harrison in 12.52) I told her we were onto something special.”

 

 

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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