National record holder and gifted quarter-miler Sada Williams will be chasing a season’s best when she competes in the women’s 400 metres at the Barbados National Championship in Athletics, scheduled to run off at 6:57 p.m. today at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.
Williams was unmatched during the one-lap preliminary race on the opening day of nationals Friday, clocking a breezy 52.42 seconds to advance to the final. She was comfortably ahead of the Quantum Leap pair of Shadae Worrell (56.90) and Brieanna Boyce (57.82), with at least 30m to spare.
The 25-year-old will look to eclipse her season best of 51 seconds, run in May at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix.
Speaking after the race, Williams, competing unattached, said it felt great to be on home soil, running in front of local supporters.
“I just want to run a season’s best and I would be happy with that. As you know last year I ran and won a medal, so this year I am looking to do the same or at least come up with a personal best,” Williams told Nation Online.
Williams, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist who trains in Jamaica, is the lone overseas based heavyweight athlete who has so far returned home to compete at nationals.
Day one of nationals set the tone for season and personal best performances as many of the athletes who ran preliminaries and semi-finals looked comfortable, clearly reserving their energy for the big days on Saturday and Sunday.
There were a couple of hurdles events on the Ryan Brathwaite track. Jadon Pearce of Quantum Leap ran a personal best of 13.98 seconds in the Under-20 boys’ 110m hurdles.
There was another good battle in the women’s 100m hurdles featuring national record holder Kerrie Beckles of Rising Stars.
Beckles easily clocked 13.76 seconds to dismiss Maya Rollins (13.90), the daughter of former Barbadian athlete Fabian Rollins. Nya Browne of Proformers Club had the third fastest time of 14.16 seconds going into the final.
Meanwhile, the lone final of the night was won by Under-18 boys’ long jump champion and CARIFTA Games silver medallist Aaron Massiah, with a 6.51 metres measurement. (ML)