By Rawle Toney
Sada Williams emerges as Barbados’ only medal hopeful at the World Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
Among the island’s representatives, which include DeSean Boyce and Jonathan Jones, all participating in the 400 meters races, only Williams managed to make her mark in the competition.
Unfortunately, Boyce’s race ended prematurely with a ‘did-not-finish’ notation next to his name, and Jones couldn’t advance to the next round despite clocking 46.03 seconds.
Williams experienced a smooth journey, effortlessly clinching victory in Heat Three with a time of 50.78 seconds.
She was the eighth-fastest spot among the qualifiers, with Marileidy Paulino, the Olympic silver medalist, claiming the fastest time (49.90s) on the time on the day.
Absent from the advancing pack was the defending champion, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who finished seventh (52.65s) in a race that Williams dominated.
Miller-Uibo’s presence was particularly significant since she had returned to major competition after a hiatus due to giving birth.
Harkening back to 2009, hurdler Ryan Braithwaite etched his name into history by setting a new national record of 13.18 seconds in the 110m hurdles, earning Barbados its first and only gold medal at the World Championships.
Fast-forwarding 13 years to Eugene, Oregon, Sada Williams solidified her place in history with a remarkable 49.75-second finish in the women’s 400m finals, establishing yet another national record and securing a bronze medal.
Williams now stands poised to add to Barbados’ accolades, with her consistent performances positioning her as a strong contender in the women’s 400 metres.
Following her success in Oregon, Williams won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
She then finished second behind the reigning World and Olympic Champion, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, at the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Championships in the Bahamas.
While Williams hasn’t managed to replicate her record-setting time, she is enjoying a prosperous season, highlighted by her qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.