Double European junior sprint champion will line up against the world’s best this weekend in London
World junior champion Jodie Williams is hoping to build on her double European Junior Championships triumph when she makes her debut at the Aviva London Grand Prix this Friday, competing over 200m.
The 17-year-old was star of the show in Tallinn last month where she added European Under-20 100m and 200m gold to the 100m world junior title she won in Moncton last year.
And fresh from the success in Estonia, Williams admits she is now chomping at the bit to line up in the 200m which features fellow former age-group world champions Bianca Knight and Shalonda Solomon.
“I know the field will be really strong and that kind of company will only push me to do better and run faster,” said Williams, 17. “This will be my first time competing in the meet and I’m really hoping that I can run well on Friday and keep feeling good about my times – it will be fantastic and I can’t wait.
“I’m feeling really good on track at the moment, I want to keep on racing as much as I can to ensure that I keep on improving and finish 2011 on a high. I didn’t think going into Tallinn that I’d been performing to my potential so after racing well there, it’s given me the confidence boost I needed to compete in a Diamond League meet.
“I was so pleased with my performance in Tallinn,” added Williams, whose 11.18 was a UK junior record, European age-17 best and a championship record. “I wasn’t really expecting such a good 100m time so was over the moon when I saw it. I am expected to do well at junior meets and obviously this added pressure had a good effect on me.”
Williams first shot to prominence in 2009 when she won the sprint double at the World Youth Championships. She then won 100m gold at last year’s World Junior Championships and followed it up with 200m silver as her unbeaten streak came to an end.
Williams and coach Mike McFarlane have been careful not to rush into too many senior-level competitions, and she missed last weekend’s UK Trials as she has no intention of going to this year’s World Championships in Daegu.
But in the few senior competitions she has contested, Williams has excelled. Earlier this year she won the UK indoor 60m title, before placing an encouraging fourth in her first ever senior championships at the European Indoor Championships in Paris.
Williams will still be young enough for next year’s World Junior Championships, although she has indicated that the London 2012 Games could tempt her into making her senior outdoor championship debut.