Jodie Williams - 400 meter runner


1325755458.jpgJodie Williams, What me, worry? photo by British Athletics

1325755474.jpgJodie Williams with Laviai Neilson, photo by British Athletics

This is Stuart Weir's piece on Jodie Williams's runs in Tokyo, and her future aspirations.

Jodie Williams - 400 meter runner

Jodie Williams finished the Olympics with a bang. She finished sixth in the individual 400 and was in the GB 4 by 400 which finished fifth.

In the individual, she ran 49.97, to equal the PR she set the previous day. Her assessment after the race was fair and measured: "I went for it, I risked it, went out strong and I just didn't have the legs in the end. This is my first ever final, the first year doing the event, I was close. Right now I'm upset, but I think in hindsight I'll be very proud of myself. Just making this final alone, in a new event, like I said before I've only run four 400s before this year, I stepped up this year and medalled indoors, and now I'm an Olympic finalist with two back-to-back 49s. I've pulled a performance out of the bag when it matters most every time, right now I'm just gutted that it wasn't enough to get that medal that would have been just such a nice end to such a great season, but I really can't be upset".

Chatting to me immediately after the final she expressed the satisfaction and frustration expressed in her performance in the final. "I was so close", she said before admitting that she had "no right to be in the final", based on the experience and PRs of the athletes she beat in the semi.

Jodie has run for Britain at 60, 100 and mainly 200m. As she explained in my Tokyo preview piece ( "My body doesn't really tolerate speed all that well. A lot of the injuries when I was younger were because of speed load. Everybody's body is different and everybody handles speed differently and I had to work that out. Mine doesn't tolerate the intensity of speed workouts very well. It takes me a very long time to recover from speed".

Her PR going into 2021 was 51.22 but she has bettered that four times this year. One feels that there is much more to come. She also won the GB championship 200m this year and is reluctant to give up the 200 completely.

1325755475.jpgJodie Williams and Imi Pippi, photo by British Athletics

Jodie is a very thoughtful athlete who sees clearly her responsibility to younger athletes. After the GB Olympic trials, she tweeted: "A note to those who experienced heartbreak this weekend: don't feel the need to explain yourself, you put in the work same as everyone else it just wasn't your time. Don't let this consume you. I know how dark things can become, please reach out to others.. you are not alone! Be patient, it will hurt for a while but trust me (I've been there many, many times) things can always, always turn around!!! Keep going, I see you, your hard work has not been in vain, you'll come back a different beast, believe me". Lovely to see you passing on her experience to younger athletes".

1325757034.jpgJodie Williams, 400m British champion, photo by British Athletics

She summed up where she is after the relay: "It's been a crazy Olympics. I'd have loved to have come out here and medalled with these girls, I know there's potential to and we will do in the future. It was a great way to top off a pretty good Games, going out there with these strong women and just representing our country. Oregon world champs is right by my second home, so I'm used to that kind of weather, I'm excited to run on that track, but I know that next year we'll come out here and we'll represent, and we'll be on that podium".

Jodie has every reason to be proud of what she contributed to these Games.

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