Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams opened her 2022 outdoor season on a winning note after she captured the Olympic Development women’s 200 meters at the 2022 Florida Relays here in Gainesville, Fla., on Friday evening.
Williams, who was the lead-off runner on the winning Jamaican 4x100m relay team at the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer, clocked 22.81 seconds (0.2 m/s) to secure the victory against a quality field.
The 20-year-old was running her fastest time since setting her personal best of 22.50 seconds to complete the sprint double at the World Junior Championships in 2018.
Williams is coming off a very impressive indoor campaign where she ran four personal bests in the 60m, including her current PB of 7.04 seconds when finishing sixth in the final of the event at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22 in Serbia, last month.
The Ato Boldon-coached sprinter will be aiming to land a place on the Jamaican individual sprint team at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July.
At the Tokyo Games last August, Williams teamed up with sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson to help Jamaica set a national record of 41.02 seconds.
Meanwhile, at the 2022 Florida Relays here in Gainesville, Shannon Ray of USA ran a personal best of 22.95 secs to take second place behind Williams on Friday, while compatriot Brittany Aveni, who was part of Team USA’s fourth-place 4x400m team at the world indoors, took third with 23.10 secs.
World leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, the Olympic 100m hurdles gold medalist in Tokyo, was slated to compete in the event as well, but the Puerto Rican didn’t show up to face the starter.
Camacho-Quinn leads the world’s top list with a personal best of 22.27 seconds, done on 18 March.
In the meantime, the women’s college 200m event was gone by Talitha Diggs of Florida who opened her outdoor season in the event with a time of 22.78 seconds, the fastest in the nation so far by a collegiate women’s sprinter.
Karimah Davis of Kentucky also broke 23-seconds on Friday, clocking 22.97 secs to finish second behind Diggs in heat one, while Lasarah Hargrove of Iowa ran 23.09 to win the second heat and finished third overall.
Howard’s Jessika Gbai posted 23.12 for fourth overall, with Edidiong Odiong of Florida State clocking 23.15 for fifth place with heat four winner Joella Lloyd of Tennessee running 23.32 for sixth on the overall list.
Olympic Development women’s 200m at 2022 Florida Relays
- Briana Williams HSInternational 22.81 / 0.2 m/s
- Shannon Ray Empire Athletics 22.95
- Brittany Aveni Unattached 23.10
- Kiara Parker ASCIS 23.38
- Khamica Bingham Athletics Canada 23.49
- Na’asha Robinson Unattached 23.69
- Gabrielle Farquharson GSTC-Tracksmith 23.99
- Quanera Hayes Life Speed DNF
- Jasmine Camacho-Quinn Nike DNS