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Triple jumper Williams still determined to leap forward

Published:Monday | March 4, 2024 | 12:09 AMKeith McGhie/Contributor
Kimberly Williams
Kimberly Williams

GLASGOW, Scotland:

If Peter Pan had been female, she would have been called Kimberly Williams as the twice former Commonwealth Games triple jump champion and three times medallist at global level insists that there is still more in the tank despite failing to add to her silverware collection at the World Indoor Championships yesterday.

The triple Olympic finalist, who already has a silver and two bronze medals from the indoor scene’s biggest stage, leapt a season’s best 14.07 metres to finish seventh in Glasgow.

At what she describes as “25 plus ten years of experience” Williams refuses to even contemplate that her best days are in the past and is still striving for excellence in her chosen discipline..

The Florida State University graduate, born in the parish of St Thomas, looks forward, not behind, and has more Olympic dreams and absolutely no thoughts of hanging up her spikes.

Her performance in Scotland was good enough to make the eight who extended their programmed three attempts to six, and after watching Thea Lafond achieve a prodigious jump of 15.01m - the longest in the world this year - to gain a first ever gold medal for Dominica, she said enthusiastically:

“I hurt my ankle last year and it’ still sore, but if I couldn’t jump on it, I wouldn’t be out there as I don’t want to make it worse with the season coming up and it including the Olympics.”

“That’s the goal!

“Jamaica has Shanieka Ricketts, Ackelia Smith, and me - three top triple jumpers - and it would be nice for us to all make the Olympics and represent our county.

“I’m happy that we now have jumpers, male and female, out there doing their thing and showing people that Jamaica is not just about sprinters.

“I feel when Ackelia was growing up she was inspired by Shanieka and me, and she is at university in Texas right now doing 60 metres and 4x400m and becoming a fine all-round athlete.

“I don’t want to just be consistent - I still want to be getting big marks - so if I can sort out the small bad habits that I have, I can still get further than 14.69m (her personal best - set less than three years ago in Doha). Anything is possible although I am getting a little bit nearer… just a little … to the end of the road.

“It took me a while to get going (on Sunday). It was early in the morning, and everybody was trying to wake up.

“I always have high hopes, but sometimes the cards don’t fall the way you want them to, and even though the results weren’t the way I wanted, I’ll move on.

“I’m 25 with 10 years of experience, yet at 35, I still feel I am learning the event.

“My coach and I are still trying to break some bad habits that I have that come out on the runway, and I’ll keep going while I’m still having fun.

“I know some people in Jamaica love to tell athletes that it is time to hang up our spikes, but I feel that they need to leave the athletes alone as if they are still out there, enjoying it and making teams, they should be left alone,” Williams said.

Nevertheless, Williams was the most senior of any of the 16 athletes taking part in the global final and she continued:

“I was born in 1988, but I can still jump although I messed up my ankle last year, which has taken a while to heal, but while it’s still sore, it didn’t affect me today.

“When I went out I didn’t think I’d make 14.07m.”