Williams will benefit from Olympics wait – Boldon

March 27, 2020
Sprinter Briana Williams (right) and coach Ato Boldon.
Sprinter Briana Williams (right) and coach Ato Boldon.

Young Jamaican sprinter Briana Williams will have to wait another year to make her Olympic debut, but according to her coach Ato Boldon, he sees opportunity in the midst of the current climate.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in a joint statement with the local organising committee, on Tuesday officially postponed the Tokyo Olympics until 2021 after weeks of uncertainty and pressure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has virtually brought the world to a halt.

After a successful junior career in which she became a triple Carifta Games champion last year and a double world under-20 champion in 2018, Williams was expecting to make her senior global championship debut in Tokyo this summer, after missing out at the World Athletics Championships in Doha last year.

While Boldon had confidence that she would have made a strong impact this year, he says that the delay gives her an additional year to improve her skills, which he believes will be beneficial in her overall development.

"I thought, based on her 2020 indoor season in which she set personal-best times every time she touched the track, that Briana would have been ready to surprise a lot of people in Tokyo in the summer," Boldon told STAR Sports. "But now that she gets to have another year to get stronger, fitter and faster, it can only benefit her. She has improved her 100m time every year for the past three seasons, so waiting another year for the Olympics should be beneficial."

The athletics season has already been upended by the virus with the cancellation of the first three events of the Diamond League season and other meets around the world being rescheduled, including the Jamaica International Invitational, which was scheduled for May 2.

Boldon says that Williams' training will see significant adjustments and expects a longer season as a result of meet postponements.

"She will continue to train with the expectation that there will be some late-season meets in 2020," he said.

Meanwhile, Williams, who recently turned 18, voiced her support for the postponement, saying that it was the best decision possible for the health and safety of all athletes.

"I've been looking forward to making the team for Tokyo 2020 with all the hard work I've put in and the daily struggles that all of us athletes have to face," Williams said. "But these things happen for a reason. We just have to keep safe and take care of ourselves."

Williams' Progression:


2019 - 11.02 seconds

2018 - 11.13 seconds

2017 - 11.30 seconds

2015 - 12.09 seconds

2014 - 13.25 seconds

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