Jodie Williams will be captaining the Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland this weekend.
The European and Commonwealth medallist will compete in the individual 400m for the first time at a major championship after back-to-back indoor PBs at the British Athletics European Indoor Selection Trials – 52.27 her best - saw her earn her place on the team. Williams finished fourth over 60m at the 2011 edition of the Championships and returns ten years later to compete in the 400m and 4x400m relay.
On receiving the captaincy, Williams said: “It is a huge honour to be chosen as the team captain. I was a little nervous when I was first asked but I am looking forward to it. This is my ten-year anniversary since I made a senior British team for the first time. The European Indoors (in Paris) was my first senior championships. It is cool that it has all come full circle and I am now going to be team captain.”
On her primary message to the team, especially the 15 athletes making their senior debuts for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Torun, she said: “My biggest message would be ‘to back yourself’. It can feel quite daunting coming in as a newbie. I know I played down my aspirations on my debut, but I would say don’t do that. You have made the team in your own right, just like everyone else. Enjoy the experience and embrace it.”
On her own expectations for the championships, the 27-year-old added: “I am going there to perform. I’m a competitor, I don’t like to downplay my aspirations. It is a new event for me, but I’ll be going there to be in finals and challenge for medals. At this point in my career, that is why I’m standing on the start line.” Olympic Head Coach, Christian Malcolm added: “I’m really pleased to be announcing Jodie as the team captain of the British team for the European Athletics Indoor Championships.
She has taken herself out of her comfort zone during this indoor season, achieving an indoor PB and earning her place on the team. She has a wealth of experience to share which will be beneficial to the whole squad. I know she will lead by example, on and off the track, during the championships.”