London Spy

British medal hopes: Jodie Williams (athletics)

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Williams crosses line at 2011 60m World Indoors

Jodie Williams is arguably the brightest young prospect in British track and field.

The 18-year-old has been described by Charles van Commenee, the head coach of UK Athletics, as "the sort of athlete every country is waiting for". Her coach, former Olympic sprinter Mike McFarlane, believes she is capable of reaching the finals of both the 100 metres and 200m in London.

Williams' achievements in her short career so far are nothing short of sensational. She won her first 151 consecutive outdoor races, a run lasting five years, and has already amassed an impressive array of international gold medals.

The first came at the World Youth Championships in Italy in 2009, when she won both the 100m and 200m titles.

Williams then stepped up a level to win 100m gold at the World Junior Championships the following year, but had to be content with silver in the 200m — the first time she had ever had to settle for anything other than first place outdoors.

She admitted to being crushed by the relative failure, despite the winner being three years her senior. However, she refused to let the setback disrupt her meteoric rise in the sport, and she recovered in emphatic style to take gold in both the 100m and 200m at the European Junior Championships in Estonia last year.

Williams lacks experience on the biggest stage of all — the Olympics — and there will be numerous more established names who will grab the headlines in the build-up to the Games, but anything appears possible for this Hertfordshire starlet.

Five Jodie Williams facts

- She was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, to an English father and Trinidadian mother.

- Both of her parents were county-level sprinters.

- She has twice finished runner-up to Tom Daley in the BBC Young Sports Personality award, in 2009 and 2010

- She won 151 consecutive races at junior level, with the record broken in the 200m final at the 2010 World Junior Championships.

- She finished her A-levels in June, less than two months before the London Games.

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