Thursday, November 3, 2011
MARK Hemmings meets up with GB sprint star Jodie Williams at the Health Performance Centre in St Albans and chats about her Olympic dream.
Scoring the winning goal in the World Cup Final, space exploration or becoming a pop star, unfortunately not many of us get the opportunity to actually achieve our childhood dreams.
However, Welwyn Garden City sprint superstar Jodie Williams is on track to live out her adolescent aspirations at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 18-year-old clocked 11.18sec in the 100m and 22.94secs in the 200m as she won double gold at this year’s European Junior Championships, both of which are Olympic qualifying times.
She now needs to make the top two in the Team GB qualifying event prior to next year’s showpiece in the capital.
Williams said: “It will be absolutely amazing to be there at the Olympics next year, fingers crossed I make the team.
“I’m probably aiming more towards the 100m, just because it’s always been my childhood dream to compete in the 100m and I thought what better time to do it than in front of a home crowd.
“I’m never going to get a chance like this again so I may as well, I’m just going for what I want to do.
“I’m going to put all my efforts into the 100m and hopefully get somewhere.”
The A level student at Potters Bar’s Dame Alice Owen’s School has begun her winter training ahead of what will be a major next step in her fledgling senior athletics career.
“My preparations are the same as every other year, I don’t want to do anything different because what we have been doing so far seems to have been working well,” she said.
“I don’t want to put too much focus on the Olympics.
“I want to do the same kind of thing, obviously I’ll be training hard for it and making sure I’m really ready.
“I’ve got the qualifying time, I just have got to come in the top two in the qualifying event next July and then I should be going which is really exciting.”
A handful of senior events this year saw Jodie make her mark in the world of athletics.
She began the year by winning the UK Indoor Championship 60m in a time of 7.24secs.
That booked her a place at the European Indoor Championships in Paris where she made the final and just missed out on bronze with 7.21secs.
Her next big event was the European Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia where she was to break her 100m personal best.
“It was a good season, although I didn’t get off to a great start running 11.3secs and stuff like that, not really getting near my PB all year and then I got to the Europeans.
“I knew I was in 11.1secs shape and being able to break 23.00secs [in the 200m], but I never really got the right conditions or the right race and it was getting quite frustrating.
“It all fell into place at the Europeans which was really good and I was really happy with the 100m time [11.18secs].
“I knew I was capable of it, but to actually do it out there and perform was a really good feeling.”
Her double gold success, as well as a bronze in the 4x100m relay, was also celebrated by her fans, friends and family back in Hertfordshire.
Of their reaction to her 2011 season, she said: “Everyone has been really supportive, all of my club team members at Herts Phoenix have been really supportive of me.
“It’s really nice to catch up with all of them, as we all went our separate ways, and talk about our seasons.”
The indoor circuit will be an important part of the Herts Phoenix member’s preparations for the coming outdoor season and of course London 2012.
“I’m doing quite a big indoor season,” she said. “I’m aiming to go to the World Indoors so that will be my first taster of competing against, hopefully, some of the Americans.
“In terms of the outdoor, I’m just looking to do a lot of senior races next year.
“I’ll try and get a bit more experience before the Olympics as I don’t want to be going in there having never been in a sub 11 race before and suddenly being shocked when they all jog in 11.0secs so it will be good.”
As 2012 gets nearer Jodie is ever closer to achieving her childhood dream.