World junior 200m champ Delano Williams could compete for Britain in Moscow as former England U20 and U23 champion Rabah Yousif also completes transfer to GB
With the IAAF transfer of allegiance complete, sprinter Delano Williams is now eligible to compete for GB in international competition with immediate effect, meaning he could be pulling on a British vest for the IAAF World Championships this summer.
The news came with confirmation that former England under-20 and under-23 400m champion Rabah Yousif has also completed his transfer from Sudan to GB.
Identified as one to watch in a ‘potential world beaters’ feature in the May 2 issue of AW, 19-year-old Williams (pictured above, right), who switched allegiance from his native Turks and Caicos Islands, can now potentially be beating the world as a British athlete.
He won the world junior 200m title in 2012 and earlier this year went within two hundredths of a second of Usain Bolt’s decade-old 200m record of 20.25 at the Jamaican schools Champs meeting. Living in Jamaica, the teen is set to join Bolt’s training group this autumn.
“I am very pleased that my transfer of allegiance has been confirmed and I am excited to be aiming towards a British team this summer,” commented Williams.
“Any athlete who saw the Olympics would feel an affinity with British fans as they showed how much they love the sport. I hope to receive a similar warm welcome in a British vest this season.”
As the sprinter’s native country are not recognised by the International Olympic Committee, he is eligible to represent Britain as Turks and Caicos are a British overseas territory and last year he gained a UK passport.
Williams has, in fact, already had one shot at GB Olympic qualification, but he failed to gain selection following a seventh-place finish at the Olympic Trials last year.
But he could now compete for Britain at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in August, with the ‘A’ qualifying standard already under his belt thanks to that lifetime best performance of 20.27 secured earlier this year in Jamaica. With Williams becoming a GB athlete, Britain will boast both junior sprint champions, as Adam Gemili is the current world junior 100m champion.
Welcoming the move, UKA’s performance director Neil Black commented: “Delano is determined to earn a regular place on the team and to represent GB & NI every year rather than just in Olympics, and that shows exactly the right commitment.
“We very much look forward to working with him as he develops into a senior athlete. He is already a real talent and he will be vying for selection to the team for Moscow World Championships when he competes at the Sainsbury’s British Championships in Birmingham in July.”
In addition, Yousif could also potentially be a part of the GB team come Moscow, as UKA state the 26-year-old is able to compete for Britain with immediate effect.
The former Sudanese international revealed to AW at a British Athletics League match in Lee Valley in May how he has a British passport and hoped to run for Britain and with his switch in allegiance now complete that could come as soon as August.
Yousif has lived in Britain since 2002 when, fearing for his life in the war-torn African nation, he absconded aged 15 when he was in Britain with the Sudanese team attending a training camp ahead of the World Junior Championships in Jamaica.
In 2007 he hoped to gain a British passport to allow him to compete for Britain. As he had not competed internationally for more than five years he was eligible as far as the IAAF’s regulations were concerned, however his participation for Sudan at the African Championships in 2008 meant he had to wait up to three years before switching nationality. He then opted to represent Sudan at the London 2012 Olympics.
The Newham & Essex Beagles athlete, who equalled his 400m 45.13 PB in London, started in athletics as a high jumper, clearing 2.05m, and has also long-jumped 7.61m.