`I will miss ‘Nationals’, but it’s time to move on’ – Daniel Williams

first_imgDANIEL Williams, the 17-year-old track and field prodigy from Linden, was the brightest star at the just-concluded National Schools Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships, but now, the Mackenzie High School sixth-form student believes it’s time to shift his focus on pursuing a career in Mechanical Engineering and landing a medal for Guyana at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.Williams is no stranger to the championships, and throughout his years competing at the event, he was the stand-out athlete in all his disciplines.He holds the 100, 200 and 400 metres records in the U-14, U-16 and U-18 categories, but the 2017 edition of the games would be the last time ‘Nationals’ would see Williams.This year was the first time in the history of the games that the event was held at the Leonora Track and Field Facility, and some of Guyana’s top athletes didn’t disappoint.Williams, competing in the U-18 category, broke the 100, 200 and 400 metres records, and finished third in the high jump, after his coach Johnny Gravesande pulled him from the event when he was in contention for a top-of-the-podium finish. He was adjudged ‘Champion Boy’ in the U-18 and helped District 10 to claim their 17th overall title.“Unfortunately, this is my last year at ‘Nationals’ and I have to now focus on bigger things,” Williams told Chronicle Sport after his dominating showing at the games.The 2017 IAAF World U-18 Championships 400M silver medallist is not known as a ‘talker’, but he expressed his gratitude to those who supported him during his years competing at the schools championship.“I will miss these games,” Williams said, adding “this is where everything started for me; everything I know about competing, winning and losing, I learn from Nationals, but now it’s time to start a new chapter in my life.”Since his showing in Nairobi, Kenya this year, where he ran a personal best of 46.72 seconds to finish behind Jamaica’s Antonio Watson (46.59) to win Guyana’s lone medal at the games, several colleges in the USA came calling, but Williams said his decision on which school to attend will be based on where will be best to study, and still allow him to compete at the highest level internationally and on the NCAA circuit.“Right now, to be honest, I’m just happy to accomplish everything I have so far, but none of it would’ve been possible without the support of my coach. He’s the one who ensures that I do all the right things; he’s like a father-figure to me and I’m grateful for all he has done so far and will continue to do. Thanks to everyone who was there to help me along the way at ‘Nationals’ and I will miss these games,” said Williams.The athlete is also popular for his always humble approach and is known for not being boastful.Along with several other top junior athletes, both locally and overseas, Williams is among the shortlist of athletes by the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.Some believe that the AAG should explore the idea of exposing the already world-rated junior athlete to the highest level of senior competition internationally, and set a platform for their ‘Road to Tokyo’.Meanwhile, Williams will return to MHS, where he will continue his studies to come out on top at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) (Unit Two).last_img