Williams, Bright satisfied with performances at World Youth Championships
– athletes call for more exposure on international stage
By Akeem Greene
National junior athletes Daniel Williams and Chantoba Bright expressed satisfaction over their performances at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Youth Championships held in, Nairobi, Kenya last week.
Both athletes returned home on Wednesday morning at the Cheddi Jagan International airport to a warm welcome from family members along with the President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Aubrey Huston and officials.
Williams ran his personal best time of 46.72s in the Boys’ 400 metres Final to capture a silver medal. He joined Kadecia Baird, who won a World Junior silver medal in 2012, as the only two athletes to gain a World medal at any level for Guyana.
“I didn’t expect to medal according to the performance that was displayed by the other persons since I was nowhere near the standard they had; so I was very surprised when I got the medal”, the sprinter stated.
He credited the second place finish to increase strength and conditioning training which helped him improve his speed during the closing stages the races.
The 17 year-old contended that while the accomplishment is just another accolade to him it is also a significant step regarding the future of the sport in Guyana.
“It is just another medal to me but it means we can strive for greatness and athletics and can take you far since there is a saying in the country that athletics cannot take you far and this should hopefully be the change for that”, the McKenzie High School student contended.
The South American Youth Championship Silver medallist is already setting his sights on attending another World Championship and the Olympics but felt that more exposure is vital in him developing as well as creating a pathway for other sprinters to improve.
Teammate and fellow Lindener Bright finished fifth in a pool of 15 in the girls long jump with a leap of 6.14 metres, some distance behind her personal best record of 6.30m which is still the third leading in the world.
“It was difficult, the weather was not what I expected and the competition was higher than I ever came into contact with but I gave my best”
She added, “the weather was cold and it took a while for me to be warmed and when I got warmed the breeze took it right away and it was difficult entering the event and not being fully warmed”.
Given the jumper had copped gold at the CARIFTA Games and South American Youth championship, she expressed that she entered the World Championships with a great degree of confidence but not over-confident since she was unaware of the level of the competition.
“It was lovely experience for me. I know I will go out and perform better given I had a taste at the World Championships”.
Both athletes are expected to return into training in the mining town as they seek to enhance their growing reputation as Guyana’s best hopes for Olympic medals.
Meanwhile, Huston pledge greater support for the two noting that the performances are attributable to the investment they made in the athletes. The AAG President said he wants to be able to monitor their performances and ensure they keeping producing similar feats for the country.