Watson realises potential; Williams always confident
Antonio Watson will always love the 200 metres, but after Friday's history-making feat of winning Jamaica's first World Championships 400 metres title in 40 years, he knows he can't give up the quarter-mile event.
Watson, in his debut World Championship final, rallied to win in 44.22 seconds, for his first senior title, to become Jamaica's first winner in the event since Bert Cameron in 1983. Great Britain's Matthew Hudson-Smith was second in 44.31, and the United States of America's (USA) Quincy Hall third in 44.37. Jamaica's other representative in the final, Sean Bailey, was fifth in 44.96.
It is the first 400 metres World Championships title for Racers Track Club, and Watson said that it was his coach Glen Mills, who said he was the perfect man to take on the distance, adding it to his half-lap catalogue.
"Since I have been at Racers, I see him working with the quarter-milers. He turned to me and said, 'You look like the perfect man for the job'. I always listen to coach and work with whatever coach says, and you can see the result," Watson said.
It is the culmination of two years of growth for Watson, not only in his craft but in his mindset and while the 200 metres will always have a special place in his heart, his success on Friday was a realisation of his vast talent, after capturing titles at both the junior and senior levels.
"The 400 metres keeps showing itself. As I always say, I love the 200 metres, but I'm not backing down from the 400 metres either. I am a World champion at the junior and now at the senior level. If the 400 metres is that calling, we will stick with the 400 metres," Watson said.
Jamaica's Danielle Williams got Jamaica's first gold, capturing her second World Championships 100 metres hurdles title in a season's best performance of 12.43 seconds. Olympic Games winner Jasmine Camacho Quinn of Puerto Rico was second in 12.44, while USA's Kendra Harrison was third in 12.46.
For Williams, the belief never wavered from when she started the competition as she captured her first title in eight years.
"Just coming here and going through the rounds, my coach told me, I was in good shape. It felt good. I keep coming in here; round one, I felt good; round two, I felt better. I came out here knowing that if I did well, I could win," Williams said.
Jamaica's Rushell Clayton added her first World Championships medal in four years, mining bronze in the women's 400 metres hurdles in 52.81 seconds. Compatriots Janieve Russell was seventh in 54.28, and Andrenette Knight eighth in 55.20.
In the men's long jump, Jamaicans Wayne Pinnock and Tajay Gayle won the silver and bronze medals, respectively. Pinnock leapt 8.50 metres, with Gayle doing 8.27, identical to compatriot Carey McLeod, who finished fourth. The event was won by Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece, who did 8.52 on his final jump to secure the gold.