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Athletics

Briana not ready to go pro, says coach Boldon

Sunday, July 15, 2018

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TAMPERE, Finland — Despite her success in winning a rare sprint double at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships, 16-year old Jamaican prodigy Briana Williams will not go pro until she finishes high school, according to her coach Ato Boldon.

Williams completed the double on yesterday's penultimate day with a spectacular 22.50 seconds after she had won the 100m two days earlier with 11.16 seconds, only the fourth woman in the history of the competition to achieve the feat.

Minutes after she crossed the line leaving a strong field in her wake, Boldon told the Jamaica Observer his charge will finish high school before considering her next move.

Asked by the Jamaica Observer what the next move would be, Boldon replied: “Keep her humble and to resist all the offers because everyone will say now she is going pro. Let me tell you this directly, Briana Williams is not going pro... she will finish high school.”

“Now she will run all high school meets... Briana will not turn pro [at this time]... she has a lot of maturing to do as an athlete,” said Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago.

He hinted she might go to college, but said: “We will see, but that is a long way from now.”

When he was told that she was the fourth person to achieve the double at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships, Boldon said: “That's awesome... but they did not do it at 16.”

The former Olympic and World Championships medallist said he was not surprised that Williams had run so fast yesterday, well under her previous best time of 23.11 seconds done earlier this year at the CARIFTA Games where she won the Under-17 sprint double.

— Paul Reid

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