Fans who witnessed the final of the 400m boys event at the World U-18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya two weeks ago will long remember the photo finish of the top five finishers.
While many expected eventual winner, Antonio Watson of Jamaica to do something special, no one except coach, Johnny Gravesande, could predict or imagine what his athlete, Daniel Williams was capable of achieving. Everyone was speechless 46 seconds later.
Williams defied the odds and surprisingly snared a silver medal. It was a historic feat for the 17-year old standout from Linden who not only ran his personal best (46.72s) but became the fastest local youth quarter miler of all time.
Despite the feat, how much do we know about the small town athlete with big dreams?
In an interview with Stabroek Sport’s Emmerson Campbell, the Mackenzie High School six form student shared some very interesting details about his life and plans.
How tall are you?
“I am six feet tall.”
What is your favorite meal?
“There is so many, probably curry chicken and rice.”
What do you do in your spare time?
“I like to play video games, I like racing, not athletics but Formula One.”
What are your favorite subjects?
“Physics and Electricity.”
How many CSEC subjects did you attain?
After six form, what field of study would you be pursuing?
“I am looking to go into aviation but if that doesn’t work out, I want to be a mechanical engineer.”
Who is your role model and why?
“Actually they’re many, my family members and my coach are my role models. I look up to them in so many ways.”
Who is your favorite international athlete?
“Wayde Van Niekerk…he is one of the best sprinters ever. He has the 400m world record and also has ran sub 10 in the 100m, sub 20 in the 200m and sub 44 in the 400m, that’s quite special.”
What has been your biggest track and field disappointment to date?
“Being disqualified for running on the line last year and in the 400m final at CARIFTA after being crossing the line in second place.”
Which is your favorite event, the 200m or 400m?
Who is your mentor?
“My father, Eustace Williams.”
How did you feel after the record setting run?
“I was just happy, I felt that I finally accomplished something that will keep me motivated in track and field.”
Do you think you can be the first Guyanese to run under 45 seconds?
“I hope George (Winston) can be the first but I am hoping to get there. The better he does the more motivated I will be to get there.”
Guyanese fans will get a chance to see the young track star in action this weekend at National Track and Field Centre where the Inter Guiana Games (IGG) trials will be staged.