Continental Cup 100m hurdles champion, Danielle Williams confesses it is hard to break the dominance of the American women in the discipline but after her successful season, she believes she is getting closer.

The 2015 world champion ended the season running her second fastest time ever, 12.49s, to edge world-record holder Kendra Harrison and win Continental Cup gold medal, capping a season in which she won silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and at the NACAC Championships in Toronto, Canada.

The Continental Cup win was one of the few times that Williams managed to beat the talented Americans. Another was in 2015 when she upset the odds to win the gold medal in Beijing, China.

It speaks to the dominance of Americans that Williams ran her personal best of 12.48s in Stockholm this past June while finishing second to Breana McNeal, the reigning Olympic champion, who won in a season’s best 12.38s.

Williams’ personal best ranks her fifth in the world for 2018. By comparison, Harrison (12.36) and McNeal ranked first and second, respectively.

“To break up the dominance of the Americans, to be honest, is going to be tough. I competed with these girls all season long. You cannot afford to have a bad race against them because they are coming at you full force,” Williams said while acknowledging the difficulty of any such task ahead.

“It’s not going to be easy. I don’t know what it is going to take other than consistency; consistently training, consistently racing them, working on things that need to be worked on and improving on all aspects.”

Even if you study them, Williams said, it is hard to find ways to get the better of them.

“If we look at each of them in the races and say ‘ this is what they do well and this is what they don’t do so well, and this is how you can capitalize on their weaknesses’, but they rarely have bad days so you have to be on your ‘A’ game at all times.”

That said, Williams believes that what she achieved in 2018, has resulted in her getting closer.

“This past season really gave me a lot of confidence. This was the first season I was able to compete consistently on the Diamond League circuit and I saw that with each race I ran against them each race I was able to get closer and closer to beating them,” she said.

“At the start of the season, Doha, I finished fifth and I was pretty far behind and by the time July came around, the London Diamond League, I finished fourth but the gap wasn’t as wide as it was in Doha.

“The more races I ran consistently behind each other I kept getting closer and closer until I eventually won at the Continental Cup.”

Only one of the Americans was in the race, Harrison, the world leader and world record holder, but it spoke volumes that Williams was able to get the better of the best in the world for 2018.

“It doesn’t get any better than that when it comes to the Americans so it was definitely a confidence booster.”

Source: Leighton Levy