Jamaica’s Briana Williams has been announced as one of the five finalists for the for the 2018 Female Rising Star Award to recognise this year’s best U20 athlete.
The winner will be declared at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018 in Monaco on Tuesday, December 4.
Coached by Trinidad’s Olympic medallist, Ato Boldon, the 16-year-old Williams had an outstanding year in 2018.
She is the World U20 champion at both 100m and 200m following her successful campaign at the championships held in Tampere, Finland in August. At the championships, she became the youngest to win a 200m world U20 title and set a championship record of 22.50s in the final.
Williams also won both sprints and the 4x100m relays at the Carifta Games in the Bahamas in March copping the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the most outstanding athlete of the championships.
The Florida-based teen also set a world age-group record when she won the 100m at the Bob Hayes Invitational in Jacksonville, Florida in 11.13s. In doing so, she broke the longstanding record of 11.19 previously held by Marion Jones.
“I feel extremely proud being considered for this award because I can say my hard has paid off, and I can’t wait to see the other great athletes in Monaco!” she told SportsMax.TV Tuesday.
However, winning the Rising Star Award will not be easy as the four other finalists are also of the highest pedigree.
Among them in American Sydney McLaughlin, the 2018 collegiate 400m hurdles champion, who had two world U20 bests during the season. In the 400m hurdles, she ran 52.75s, which was a senior world-leading time. She also ran 50.36 indoors.
Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete ran to set a World U20 best of 1:07.51 in the half marathon. She was also the Gothenburg Half Marathon winner and managed sixth and team gold at IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018.
Celliphine Chespol (KEN) is the World U20 champion and world U20 lead at steeplechase with 9:01.82. She was also the African (senior) cross-country champion and won steeplechase silver medals at Commonwealth Games and African Championships respectively.
Meskerem Mamo of Ethiopia set World U20 leads at 3000m and 5000m with 8:33.63 and 15:05.21 respectively and was a bronze medallist in 5000m at the African Championships.
Source: Leighton Levy