It’s been almost four decades since Guyana won its lone medal, a bronze at the 1980 Olympics in Russia courtesy of then bantamweight boxer, Michael Parris.
I might be caught up in the euphoria of the moment but Daniel Williams, a World Youth 400m silver medalist who set new national U-18 records in the 100, 200 and 400m has been anointed by this writer to become one of the best athletes Guyana has ever seen.
Williams, the youngest ever Guyanese to run sub 47 for the quarter mile event (46.72s) has much room for improvement. Over time, his technique will improve as will his strength and speed, all of which are impressive now at this level. If the 17-year old Linden native can make those improvements incrementally over the next few years and remain healthy, who knows what he will be able to accomplish.
He has almost three full years before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and he will only be in his mid-20 in the following Olympics in 2024.
I spoke with the very likable young man earlier this season after he won the silver in Kenya at the World Youth Championships, I asked him what his goals were and he said simply to be the best.
Already a solid athlete, his Coach Johnny Gravesande believes the 6-foot’ 1-inch sprint prodigy has the potential to take it the very highest level. “Definitely,” he said, when I asked him if his charge could very well be the best high school athlete and potentially Guyana’s best ever. “Based on the time he ran he has to be. He has the great work ethic. He never complains he just does the work. He definitely has what it takes to go all the way.”
There is no doubt that Williams has the God-given talent to run fast, it is now up to the powers that be to ensure that he maxes out his potential.