Q&A WITH… DANIELLE WILLIAMS

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Country: Jamaica

Profession: Athlete – 100mH

Career highlights:

  • 2019 World Championships bronze medallist
  • 2018 Continental Cup gold medallist
  • 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist
  • 2015 World Championships gold medallist

Jamaica has such a long, rich sprinting culture and history. How does it feel to be part of that with all you have achieved? 

I am honored to be a part of such a storied history. There is no shortage of talented athletes that have stepped into the track for Jamaica, and to be included in that is humbling.

Can you tell us more about your upbringing in St. Andrew Parish? 

It was a very simple upbringing. I grew up with 5 siblings, me being the second to last. We were all very close, and I actually got into athletics because I watched my siblings doing it and I wanted to try everything they did. My parents ensured that I had all I needed to succeed in life and made the necessary sacrifices to ensure I got a good education, and a balanced childhood.

What do you enjoy most about the 100m hurdles? 

I just the overall challenge of navigating hurdles while running full tilt. There is always something to improve on, something to tweak that might lead to dropping even a millisecond off your time. I also love that you need to be hyper-aware and focused because any distraction will lead to disaster.

What has been the WORST advice you have been given as an athlete?

To not be all in. To not be present in all aspects. To prioritize ‘fun’ over the process of competing.

We have read that you can’t remember much of the 2015 World Champs final which is often a sign of being in the zone (or in flow) – could you describe what being in the zone feels like for you?

Its quite exhilarating. To be in a sort of trance-like state in which the only thing you can remember is the beginning and the end of something. It’s almost as if time stands still or is moving ultra-slow in that moment.

What other talent (besides running) do you have? 

I cook very delicious meals.

We know you like to read – what book would you recommend every athlete should read?

Think Like a Warrior. Lots of gems in that book that have helped me. In fact, one of my mantras “focus on what you can control; your effort and attitude” came straight from that book.

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