“I felt so blessed; I am happy to have claimed one of the biggest trophies out there. I was very pleased,” said Charonda Williams in response to winning the 2012 women’s 200m Diamond League crown. The 25-year-old Arizona State University graduate was visibly relieved and ecstatic to win the crown. Charonda, who had failed to make the American team to the Olympic Games in London, had rebounded nicely to have an impressive second half to her season, capping off her season with the diamond league crown.
During the 2012 season, Charonda established personal best times of 11.13 seconds in the 100m and 22.52 seconds in the 200m. She has established herself as someone to watch in the upcoming seasons. By virtue of winning her first Diamond League crown, Charonda is an automatic qualifier for the 2013 World Championship in Russia. Charonda spoke to TrackLedger.com about her 2012 season and her mindset heading into the 2013 season.
Expectation and Disappointment
“I was expected to do well. I had goals set for myself and I was glad that I was able to accomplish some of those goals,” said Charonda who despite failing to earn a spot on the USA Olympic team had a successful season. She continued, “This is the first time in my career I’ve had a consistent season.”
Commenting on her USA Trial Performance, Charonda said “I felt devastated; I was upset with myself for not performing as well as I would’ve like to. It [USA Trials] was emotionally draining.” Charonda’s 22.89 seconds performance in the 200m in the heats was enough to get her to the semi-finals, but she failed to advance to the finals.
Charonda is fully aware of the importance of performing well in the first 100m of her 200m races. She said that the 200m is more to her liking because “even if you don’t get a good start, you can always make it up by finishing strong.”
“Not making the USA Olympic team motivated me a lot and I didn’t want the failure to make the Olympic team, be my downfall. So I focused on the second half of the season and I ran very well.”
Charonda had victories in Stockholm (22.82) and London (22.75) and several top-three finishes on the Diamond League circuit, winning the crown with 12 points, ahead of France’s Myriam Soumare (8 points) and Jamaica’s Anneshia McLaughlin (6 points).
Perhaps her signature race of the season took place in Lucerne Switzerland on July 17, when she ran her lifetime best time of 22.52 seconds in the 200m, defeating Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown (22.70) in the process.
Charonda attributes her successful 2012 campaign to working hard, training, knowing her body and running her own race.
Staying Calm and Focus this Upcoming season
“I would like to run indoors this year, but it’s up to my coach,” said Charonda, who is coached by former American sprinter Dennis Mitchell. She continues, “I would like to run a couple of indoors 60m to get the first part of my 100m races up to speed.”
Currently in her offseason, Charonda is just relaxing and taking her mind off of track before starting her training program for the upcoming season.
Charonda is no stranger to World Championship competition as she finished in 5th place in the 200m semi-final (22.81) at the 2009 Berlin championship.
“I’m excited about the World Championship next year but I don’t want to over-think anything. I just want to stay calm, train hard and get ready for Russia,” she said.