Friday, June 28, 2013

Delano Williams set to compete for Great Britain at World Athletics Championships 2013

By Simon Hart -

Delano Williams, the world junior 200 metres champion and one of the most exiting young talents in global sprinting, is hoping to compete in a Great Britain vest at the World Championships in Moscow in August after switching allegiance from his native Turks and Caicos Islands.
We've embedded below Delano Williams running a 44.8 split in a 4x400m relay in Kingston, Jamaica.

The 19-year-old, who is a duel citizen of Turks and Caicos and the UK, is considered such a hot prospect that he was recently invited by Glen Mills, the coach of Usain Bolt, to join Jamaica’s famous Racers Track Club and learn his craft alongside Bolt and Yohan Blake, the two fastest 200m runners in history. It is understood that he will base himself at Brunel University in west London before decamping to Jamaica at the end of the season. Williams competed under the Turks and Caicos flag at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and at last year’s World Junior Championships in Barcelona but has now decided to commit himself to Britain. A year ago, the teenager tried to qualify for the GB Olympic team because Turks and Caicos is a British overseas territory without its own Olympic committee and is therefore not permitted to send an independent team to the Olympic Games. Under the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations, athletes from territories with no Olympic team are allowed to compete for the parent country. In the event, Williams missed London 2012 after suffering a groin strain at the Olympic trials in Birmingham, where he finished seventh in the 200m final. According to IAAF rules, Williams was entitled to revert to competing for Turks and Caicos at the World Championships in Moscow but he has now decided to make a complete switch to Britain. UK Athletics confirmed yesterday that he was eligible for all international competitions immediately and that he would be taking part in the World Championship trials in Birmingham from July 12-14. Williams, a boarder at Munro College in Jamaica since the age of 13, already has the 'A’ qualifying standard for Moscow after clocking a lifetime best of 20.27 sec at the Jamaican Boys and Girls Championships in March – just 0.02  sec outside Bolt’s championship record. In a statement, Williams said: “I am very pleased that my transfer of allegiance has been confirmed and I am excited to be aiming towards a British team this summer. “Any athlete who saw the Olympics would feel an affinity with British fans as they showed how much they love the sport. I hope to receive a similar warm welcome in a British vest this season.” UK Athletics performance director Neil Black said: “Delano is determined to earn a regular place on the team and to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland every year rather than just at the Olympics, and that shows exactly the right commitment.” Williams’ switch of allegiance means Britain can boast the world junior champions in both the 100m and 200m, with fellow 19-year-old Adam Gemili having won gold in Barcelona in the shorter sprint. Gemili also has aspirations over 200m after clocking a lifetime best of 20.30 sec in Bedford eight days ago. Britain gained another athlete yesterday when 400m runner Rabah Yousif completed a transfer from Sudan. Yousif, 26, who is married to an Englishwoman and has lived in Britain since 2002, reached the semi-finals of last summer’s Olympics, where he equalled his personal best of 45.13 sec. His best performance this season is 46.06  sec, which puts him seventh in the UK rankings.