The Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM David Comissiong has praised the work of world-rated Jamaican coach Stephen Francis in propelling Barbadian Sada Williams to a second consecutive medal at the World Athletic Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

After her Oregon 400-metre bronze at the 2022 Worlds, Williams finished third again Wednesday in the one-lap event in 49.60 seconds behind the Dominican Republic’s gold medallist Marileidy Paulino (48.76) and Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek (49.57).

“Speaking on behalf of the people of Barbados, (I) would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution that Jamaica's all-time great coach, Stephen Francis, has made to Sada's success,” Comissiong said.

Williams appeared briefly down the homestretch to be drifting out of medal contention but fought gallantly to become the first Barbadian ever to repeat as a World Championship medallist.

“Stephen Francis is, perhaps, the greatest sprint coach in the entire world, and he has been instrumental in developing Sada into the world class athlete that she is today,” said St Vincent and the Grenadines-born Comissiong.

Williams, 25, trains in Kingston with Francis’s MVP Track Club that produced multiple Olympic and World Champions including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shericka Jackson, Melaine Walker, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, and Tajay Gayle plus former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell.

Last year in Birmingham, England, Williams created history when she became the first Barbadian woman to win a Commonwealth Games 400m gold medal, clocking a championship record 49.90 seconds.

A devout Pan Africanist, Comissiong, also called for Barbados to arrange a special function to honour Francis’s work with Williams.

“I hope and trust that very soon from now we Barbadians will have the opportunity to say a very personal heart-felt "thank you" to Mr Francis as our special honoured guest at an appropriately designed official function right here in Barbados,” he said, adding: “Long live Caribbean solidarity and brotherhood!”.

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