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Coach defends not taking Jodie Williams to Daegu

By Jessica Creighton

Jodie Williams
Williams ran a personal best of 7.24 seconds in the 60m at the UK Trials

Jodie Williams' coach Mike McFarlane has defended his decision not to send the teenage sprinter to the World Championships in Daegu this summer.

World junior champion Williams, 17, won the 60m title at the UK Indoor Trials and Championships on Saturday.

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee is keen to get Williams competing at senior level.

But McFarlane said: "The World Championships are not part of the plan. Junior events have been the priority."

He continued: "Many young athletes don't make it, they flop because they're doing too much.

"She's still studying - a lot of people forget that. I want to make sure come September she's ready for her last year of A-levels.

I want to make sure come September she's ready for her last year of A-levels

Mike McFarlane

"My role is to make her the best athlete she can be and ensure her longevity. We'll look at the senior events and decide which ones to take part in."

But Van Commenee said "team players" will be important when he comes to select the women's 4x100m relay squad for the London Olympics in 2012.

"You need team players. It's a team event so I select the best team," he said. The door is still open but, having said that, I also want the team to be prepared.

Jodie Williams, Getty Images

Williams was a finalist for the 2010 BBC Young Sports Personality award

"I've spoken to the coach and to the father (Richard) in October and afterwards and they have decided she was not going to go.

"It would be my choice to go [to the World Championships] but I'm not a father, I'm certainly not her father. I understand that parents see a bigger picture and I have to respect that," he said.

Williams' performance in Sheffield was the fifth-fastest 60m time in Europe this season and means she has secured a place at next month's European Indoors in Paris, her first senior championship appearance.

McFarlane told BBC Sport: "Yes it was impressive but we still have lots of hurdles to climb. We've taken a couple of steps on a very long ladder. She's a competitor, she has no fear factor and if you develop that you're a winner."



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Updated: 19 December 2014 20:33


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