Kimberly Williams in the triple jump at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 (© AFP / Getty Images)
Kimberly Williams, the world indoor silver medallist and Commonwealth Games champion, has enjoyed a successful first half of the 2018 season. Here the 29-year-old Jamaican gives us the lowdown on her passion for the triple jump.
“I attended a big athletics school in Jamaica – Vere Technical High School – and I tried a few events: the high jump, discus and long jump. I also tried the hurdles but fell in my first hurdle race and I quickly gave up, thinking this is not the event for me. Then one day at training, I saw someone doing the triple jump. It looked very technical and I was up for the challenge. I ran down the runway from a random spot and it must have gone well because the next day I did triple jump training. I fell in love with it and I have been in love with the event ever since.
“A couple months later I made the Jamaican Carifta Games team and my results started to improve. I had some tougher times when I did not perform as well as I wanted at World U18 Championships and World U20 Championships but I was lucky that my support system encouraged me to continue to work hard and be patient. I eventually made my first final at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
“The best thing about triple jump, is that it is very technical and it feels easy when you do it right. I often know it is a good jump when I’m going into the jump phase because it feels like I have been in the air forever. Plus, it gives me a lot of joy when I execute it properly.
“I am very grateful for my talent and I will continue to put in the necessary work so I can be the best that I can be. So even on the bad days like at London 2017 (when Williams failed to make the final of the IAAF World Championships) I will be able to find something positive from the situation and be able to move on with new hopes and dreams.
“Another element I love is the positive feedback I have received from my family, friends and supporters. It makes me super happy to show the world that Jamaicans can be good at the jumps too. My aim is to inspire before I expire.
“Competing in the triple jump has given me the chance to travel the world and I’ve connected with a lot of people. I love the triple jump. It is fun. I’m 5ft 6ins and I have learned to work with what I have. I know my strengths and I’m working on them as well as my weaknesses. I try to stay far from negative energies. Positive vibes only. I have the right set of people around me. A massive thank to my mommy, guardian, Balog-Santiago family, coaches and anyone who have helped me along the way for their support. My journey has been truly amazing and even if I perform badly, my mum is always there to say, ‘You did good. I love you.’”
Steve Landells for the IAAF