College Sports Carib
The darling of Barbados track and field Sada Williams has signed to attend the University of Technology in Jamaica. The 20 year old Barbados native has turned to Jamaica for a fresh start after enduring a treacherous run with injuries.
Williams was in line to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics as a teenager but missed the Summer Games after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 mid-substance strain of the right hamstring.
Williams picked up the injury during the 2016 IAAF World Under 20 Athletics Championships 200 metres final where the then-teenaged sprint sensation pulled up hurt on the curve.
It was a massive disappointment for, not only Williams but the Bajan public as well, who she endeared herself to after exploding on the scene in 2013.
Williams was the gold medal favourite after coming into the championships in spanking form.
That season she obliterated the Barbados national senior 200m record with a 22.61 clocking at the Powerade Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships.
She not only crushed the 30-year old meet record, set the new Junior and Senior National records, but attained the Olympics qualify standard in the process.
A week later she also clocked 52.07 seconds in the 400m en route to completing the 200 (22.72) and 400m double at the CARIFTA Games.
The time would have put her in the final of the London Olympics and was also the second fastest time of the year at that time behind Australia’s Ella Nelson (22.53).
But two years later those times remains her personal bests in both events.
She seemingly bounced back with a pair of sub-23 second times last season with a season’s best of 22.80.
However, she flattered to deceive at the IAAF World Championships in London where she could do no better than 5th in the heats with a disappointing 23.55.
A year later Barbados’ worst fears were realized after an MRI confirmed a tear in Williams’ already troublesome right hamstring, which forced her out of the Commonwealth Games this summer.
There has been much contention in the island over the handling of Williams, who has suffered three consecutive significant injuries on the same right hamstring following successive strains in 2015 and 2016.
Some questioned whether coach Ramon Armstrong, who discovered Williams and guided her during her dominant high school years, was the right man to take her to the next level.
In June of 2016, Armstrong told Sports At Your Fingertips that Williams, who was receiving offers from top universities in the NCAA at the time, was poised to do the World Juniors/Olympics double.
But some Barbados track and field insiders believed Williams should have pulled out of the World Junior Championships after a medical report revealed she reported pain in that same hamstring during the first round.
Some well-wishing Basian track fans have called for Williams to make the move to Jamaica where they claim “she will be better groomed.”
Well, whether she was listening or not, Williams is in Jamaica, at an institution renowned for producing and grooming some of the best athletes Jamaica and the world has ever seen.
Only time will tell if it’s the move that will save what still seems a promising future.