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Williams targets BUCS glory in Rio bid

PUBLISHED: 16:06 02 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:06 02 February 2016

Bianca Williams (centre) on the podium after winning the BUCS 60m final last year (pic: Andy Edwards)

Bianca Williams (centre) on the podium after winning the BUCS 60m final last year (pic: Andy Edwards)

Andy Edwards

Sprinter sets her sights on university crown in build-up to Olympics

Bianca Williams admits her biggest rival in the first half of this season will be the clock as she attempts to dip under the Rio Olympic qualifying times at the earliest opportunity.

The double Commonwealth bronze medallist is preparing to open her 2016 season shortly with a trip to Sheffield for BUCS Nationals on the weekend of February 19-21, one of just a handful of indoor competitions she has in the diary.

The priority on the other hand is the outdoor season and ensuring she books her spot on the plane for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.

The 22-year-old is among a group of emerging young British sprinters and made her World Championships debut in Beijing last summer where she made the semi-finals of the 200m.

Injury robbed her of the chance to compete at London 2012, but with the 100m and 200m British Athletics qualification standards both comfortably inside her personal best times, Williams intends to try and relieve the pressure by dipping under them early.

“I’m feeling fit and in a better position than I was this time last year so I’m looking forward to getting going,” she said. “I had a training camp at the start of January which was perfect for kickstarting the year.

“It’s scary that this year as come around so quickly, we’re in January now and the months will soon fly by.I just want to try and hit those qualifying times as soon as possible and get that out of the way and then concentrate on my running.

“BUCS might be my only indoor competition, I might do the national championships but I’m mainly going to be concentrating on my training in the next couple of months. I will see how I go at trials in terms of which distance I will be targeting for Rio. But it would just mean everything to make the team.”

Now in her third year of studying sports and exercise science at the University of East London, Williams is certainly no stranger to BUCS Nationals and won 60m gold at last year’s edition, which was also held in Sheffield.

The competition is the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK and plays a role in developing and assisting young athletes in their sporting career.

And Williams, who also won 100m and 200m bronze at the outdoor event in 2012, admitted the atmosphere was something she relished each year.

“I really enjoy BUCs, I know so many of the athletes and it’s nice for me to see them as a lot of the time I’m training with my usual training group,” she added.

“I’m going to be doing the 60m for definite, I might not another distance but I haven’t decided yet. It’s a great event with a high level of competition.”

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, representing more than 150 institutions. Covering 52 sports, BUCS aids grass roots participation through to supporting aspiring elite athletes en route to Commonwealth or Olympic Games www.bucs.org.uk

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