Hannah Williams inspired by Nitro Athletics and meeting Usain Bolt
PUBLISHED: 09:47 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 23 February 2017
Athlete Hannah Williams is more hungry than ever to compete in further senior events having represented England in Australia against some of the world’s best including Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt.
The 18-year-old Herts Phoenix 400m runner from WGC was picked to race for the nation in the inaugural Nitro Athletics event in Melbourne earlier in the month.
The former Queenswood student, younger sister of GB athlete Jodie, told the WHT: “It was such an amazing experience. I thought the trip was going to be good, but not this good.
“It was definitely a trip I will remember forever.”
The format of the event was a new one with such races as female and male mixed relays
“Things on the track went amazingly,” said Williams.
“I had to be pulled into the 60m and the 4x100m relay at the last minute as one of my team members got an injury. I got a PB of 7.60secs in the 60m so was really happy with that.
“The 4x100m was an amazing experience as I was running the first leg against Asafa Powell [Jamaican world and Olympic champion].
“I also ran in the mixed 4x400m relay where the team won and I ran a split time of 52.80secs which equals my PB. I also competed in the medley relay where I did a 200m and the team placed second.”
Athletes earned points for their team depending on their positions and these were tallied up for overall placing. England were fourth.
The format led to increased team support, which Williams enjoyed.
“The highlight of the trip was probably being able to run down the track next to your team-mate cheering them on whilst they were racing,” she said. “Also I loved how the team got on so well and everyone supported each other.”
While nations used the competition to give youngsters, such as Williams, valuable experience, senior athletes like England team captain Christine Ohuruogu, and Jamaica’s Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt, also featured.
Williams added: “It was amazing I got to warm up in the same lane as Bolt and Asafa on the track, and running against them was great.
“I got to talk to them also and they were so lovely and humble.
“Christine was our team captain and was calming me down before all my races and kept telling me ‘just have fun and enjoy the experience’.
“She is such a great person and it was amazing to run with her in the relay.
“It was so surreal, it felt like I was dreaming, I still cant believe it now.
“The experience will really benefit me, it showed me the difference between a senior and junior team and how different they are. It has also made me hungrier than ever to get into more senior competitions.”
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