2019 Athletissima Diary: Jodie Williams

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Williams_JodieFH-Lausanne19.jpgJodie Williams leans at the finish, 5 July 2019, Lausanne DL 200m, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jodie Williams has been one of those British athletes that British and knowing global fans wondered about her whereabouts. This year, Jodie has had some fine racing, including a fine 200m in Lausanne. Stuart Weir, who has known her for ages, writes about this promising young athlete.

Jodie Williams

Jodie Williams was second in the 200 in 22.75 at Athletissima. It was OK, she told me, but she had been hoping to be closer to her PR of 22.46. She has run a 22.46 this year but with a 2.9 wind). Williams has, however, run PRs in the 100 and 400 this year.

She won the 100 and 200 in the World Youth Championship in 2009 and the 100 in the World Juniors in 2010 (plus a silver in the 200). She took silver in both the Commonwealth Games and European Championship in 2014 in the 200 - beaten only by Blessing Okagbare and Dafne Schippers. Her career seemed to stall after that but she is back in business and still only 25.

After a frustrating 2015 season blighted by injuries she re-located to the World Athletics Center in Phoenix to work with Stu McMillan, of whom she says: "Me and Stu have a very similar mindset and I think that's why it works with him. He allows me quite a bit of input into my sessions. At first we didn't see eye to eye. He is more speed-based and with me coming from a more 200/400 background, that type of training was hard for me at first. But we have found a happy medium, where he allows me to run the longer stuff that I enjoy, but keeping one or two speed sessions. So I think we have figured it out". She adds: "I love Phoenix. The environment suits me. The life style suits me. I have added hiking into my training, which helps keep my head clear".

Her goals for 2019 are to make the World Championship final and also to get a place in the GB 4 by 400m relay squad. "Looking forward", she told me, "it must be about medals. The Olympics are next year and I want a medal there so this year I need to set that up. I have to be in the 2019 final to set that up for next year".

Williams_JodieR-Lausanne19.jpgJodie Williams looks to the future, photo by PhotoRun.net

How, I wondered, did a 200m runner manage to run PRs in 100m and 400m this season. It is all part of the plan she assured me: ". I have run a 100 PR and a 400 PR. So hopefully if we can merge the two that should equal something pretty good in the 200m.. For a couple of years we've been working on my speed which has kinda been my weakness. The top 200 meter runners are all running sub eleven so I needed to get my time down. I'm really pleased I got a new 100 PB and as I said I am trying to make the 400m relay so I knew I had to run a flat 400".

I have known Jodie for some years and reminded her that she used to hate running 400s in practice, had the new Jodie, fallen in love with 400s? "I haven't!", she assured me. "But in fact the longest I've run in training this year is 250m which goes to show that you don't need to do crazy long sessions to have that speed endurance. We had been working things differently so that I don't have to run as far, trying different things which seem to be working".

You get the impression that she is in a good place and that there is a lot more to come.

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