Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Williams aims for discus gold in her last Champs

Published:Saturday | March 11, 2023 | 1:08 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Cedricka Williams with coach Donovan Jones.
Cedricka Williams with coach Donovan Jones.
St Jago’s Abigail Martin.
St Jago’s Abigail Martin.

There were times last year when Cedricka Williams was the best under-20 discus thrower in the world. However, an uncharacteristic crash at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships (Champs) blotted the copybook of the soft-spoken Holmwood Technical discus standout. This season Williams is using that disappointment as motivation.

Dominant throughout her time at Holmwood, the 18-year-old Williams fought off Abigail Martin of St Jago High School on March 1 to win the Central Championships Class One discus throw. Martin took the lead with a third-round personal best (PB) of 53.38 metres, and Williams had to crank out a season’s best 54.01 metres to win in round five.

“It was good. I got a little competition which is good. I normally don’t get any, so to feel a little adrenalin pumping; it is good,” said the girl who set Champs records to win in Class Two and Class Three.

“Nice feeling,” she added as she relived the moment.

A delighted Martin congratulated the winner and later said, “I am very happy because I had some discomforts in the early part of February and to come out here and get a PB is a blessing, so I’m very happy today.”

Moreover, the tall St Jago thrower relishes every opportunity to compete against Williams.

“I really like to throw against her because it’s good competition as always,” she said of what it is like to match up with the 2022 Carifta champion.

It was an important triumph for Williams.

“Yes, I do think about last year, but I see that as a motivation for this year,” explained the Ocho Rios native who ended 2022 as the number three under-20 thrower in the world with a national junior record of 56.21m.

Holmwood throws coach Donovan Jones was a happy man. “There is still a bit of work to be done,” he assessed, “but I’m pleased with the win. Throwing 54m to win, I mean, I have to be grateful for that.”

The winning distance was the first record of the meet.

Jones has counselled Williams to enjoy her last Champs season.

“Just enjoy it. Enjoy every moment of it. Every day is your last day at practice. You will never get another March 1 in high school so just enjoy it and do your best,” he emphasised.

When they meet at the Carifta Trials today and at Champs later this month, they won’t be the only ones chasing the gold medal. With Williams down in seventh, Martin lost the bronze to Britannie Johnson of Camperdown High, who was also ahead of Martin when Williams won in Class Two and Class Three.

Olympic finalist at the last Games, Shadae Lawrence, is an inspiration for all the young female throwers and Williams is no different.

“For the future, I also want to go to the Olympics, and I also want to dominate for my country, coming first or second,” she said.