Jodie Williams gunning for gold after barrier-breaking personal best at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Great Britain's Jodie Williams (centre) ran a sub-50 PB to qualify for the 400m final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Great Britain's Jodie Williams (centre) ran a sub-50 PB to qualify for the 400m final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. - Credit: JOE GIDDENS/PA

Jodie Williams says she is still targeting gold after reaching the Olympic final with a barrier-breaking personal best.

The Welwyn Garden City athlete ran 49.97 seconds, the first time under 50 seconds, as she finished second in her semi-final of the 400m.

She will now line-up for Friday's final, scheduled for 1.35pm BST, with all eyes firmly placed on ending 

The 27-year-old said: "I’m so happy, it’s just sinking in when I was walking just then and I started crying.

"It’s been such a long journey and I needed to come here and make that final and I’m glad I’ve got that first part done that’s the hardest part.

"Being in that final anything can happen so you’ve got to be there to challenge for medals."

The Herts Phoenix athlete turned off her game face though when asked about breaking the 50 seconds barrier. Then there was nothing but smiles.

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She said: "It's crazy because three weeks ago I broke 51 for the first time, and now I’ve come here [and gone under 50].

"I saw that first heat and I saw all of those girls go 49 and I was like ‘you have no choice now’ and I ran for my life.

“It’s the best time to do it and PB every stage.

"I was trying to run my own race. I knew the Jamaican girl [third place Roneisha McGregor] inside me was going to come up on me, I knew Shaunae [Miller-Uibo, race winner] was going to do Shaunae.

“For me it was just get out really hard, settle into a really nice rhythm and then from 150m onwards run for your life and that’s what I did.

“It’s my first year running 400s. Before this year I’d only done four 400s so I took a risk on myself, bet on myself, backed myself to come here and get the job done at the risk of not doing my favourite event the 200m, so I’m so glad I did that and put myself up there.  

“I knew my potential over the 400 was something I could challenge for medals in, if I executed. The 200m, I haven’t managed to express myself properly in that event and I was getting frustrated. 

“I just feel back to my old self. I used to come to champs and dominate heats and PB. I’m a championship performer and I feel so good to finally feel back to me.

“Hopefully I should have a decent lane and put myself in the mix.”

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