JODIE WILLIAMS’ speed around a bend might have helped her claimed four major championship medals this summer, but the 20-year-old will be happy to get back on the straight and narrow when she competes in the Great North City Games on Saturday.
Williams claimed a 200m silver medal in both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games, and also ran the penultimate leg in the 4x100m relay as England won bronze in Glasgow and the British quartet claimed gold at the Europeans in Zurich.
However, for all that she has perfected the art of sprinting around a bend, the youngster is looking forward to taking on a simpler task when she competes in the 150m on the Gateshead Quayside this weekend.
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“I hate bends, so to run 150m in a straight line will be brilliant,” she said. “It’s probably the perfect distance for me, and I don’t have to run a bend, which I absolutely despise.
“I never really run the bend properly. I’m more of a strong finisher than a bend runner. I think, over time, that will come, but at the moment bends are not my forte. I tend to come through at the end of races.”
This has been a breakthrough season for Williams, who finished behind flying Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers in the European Championship final as she moved to second on the all-time UK list for the 200m behind Kathy Cook.
“I feel like I’ve got a solid base of confidence behind me now going into next year,” she said. “To have got two individual medals and two relay medals in a massive boost. It’s given me a really good platform to build on.”
First though, Williams will round off her season with a rare appearance over 150m, taking on Bianca Williams, who won the 200m bronze medal behind her in Glasgow, and Asha Phillip, who ran the lead off leg for Britain’s record-breaking relay team in Zurich.
“I’ve only run one City Games race before, in Manchester last year, and it was so much fun,” said Williams. “I think it’s great. It was an amazing experience – to have that track in the middle of the city and the crowd so close to you. I really enjoyed it, and that’s why I wanted to do another one this year.”