After a challenging year it is mission accomplished for Monique Williams.
Williams clocked a time of 23.71 seconds to finish sixth in the final of the women’s 200m at the Delhi Commonwealth Games on Monday night.
Her time was less than a second behind that of winner Cydonie Mothersill of the Cayman Islands, who clocked 22.89.
Heading into the games Williams goal was to make the final, a goal that has been the focus of most of her year after missing the national championships through injury.
Williams arrived in the games village on September 29, several days before the opening ceremony, after acclimatising in Doha, Qatar.
‘‘I wanted to acclimatise and settle in to be familiar with my surroundings.
‘‘I don’t find it as hot here as it was 45 degrees plus in Doha.
‘‘Mentally this past year has been my toughest after having such a great year last year.
‘‘I feel like I’m in a good space now though, training has being going great and I’ve had four months solid training since starting from scratch in May after being clear from injury.
‘‘The European season finished late August so racing has been hard to come by.
‘‘I have been gauging my fitness by how well training is going.
‘‘That’s why I went to Doha and then into village early as the heat and acclimatisation is important for sprints.
‘‘To be competing in my first Commonwealth Games is a great feeling.
‘‘I have dreamed of being here since I was young.’’
Williams was the sixth fastest qualifier in the semifinals with a time of 23.63 seconds.
In her heat on Saturday night Williams ran 23.61 to be the third fastest qualifier for the semifinals.
She was meant to run her final on Sunday night two hours after the final.
Williams was also frustrated that her lane for the final had been changed and that officials could not give her a reason.
Originally, there was a lane draw and I was assigned to lane eight,’’ a baffled Williams told stuff.co.nz.
‘‘I shouldn’t have been in lane nine, especially after there was a previous draw and they couldn’t tell me why they had changed it.
‘‘They said they didn’t know why the lanes had changed and I don’t know is not good enough.’’
‘‘It would have been an advantage for me to run straight away because I am feeling fit,’’ she said.
SPRINT QUEEN: Monique Williams races in the women’s 200m final at the Commonwealth Games this week. NATIONAL NAILS: Williams shows off her silver fern decorated nails for a New Zealand television crew.