One of a number of young English sprinters tipped to shine in the coming years, double Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Bianca Willliams admits Glasgow 2014 will always go down as the competition where everything changed for her.
Coming into last year, Williams had been a regular medallist on the domestic stage, although her only international appearance of note saw her fail to finish the final of the 200m at the European Under-23 Championships in Tampere, Finland.
A silver medal as part of the Great Britain 4x200m relay team at World Relays last May though suggested signs of promise.
But it was in Glasgow where Williams truly announced herself on the international stage, clocking a 200m personal best of 22.58 seconds for bronze before adding the same colour in the women’s 4x100m relay.
Just a fortnight later, the 21-year-old then missed out on maiden European Championships medal by just a tenth of second when she placed fourth in Zurich.
And having spent the season racing against some of the world’s best, including four-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix of the United States, Williams pinpoints Glasgow as when she finally felt comfortable in their company.
“I was just a normal person who loved training and then all of a sudden I managed to get two medals, I never expected it,” she said.
“And then two weeks later to come back at the Europeans and come fourth there was great. My life has changed completely.
“Having done the Commonwealths, I believe that I can do anything. I believe that I deserve to be here.
“You will get scared but I’ve raced against Allyson Felix and I nearly beat her and I thought if I can do that then I can do anything that I want.
“In my head I keep that thought, if I can do that I can do anything, and I can.”
After a winter off which included well-earned holidays in Dubai and Bali, Williams returned the track last weekend for her first indoor competitions of 2015 at the BUCS Nationals and Indoor Grand Prix in Sheffield and Birmingham respectively.
She placed sixth in the heats of the 60m in the latter on Saturday, while the day previously she stormed to gold in a new personal best of 7.34.
And with the World Championships in Beijing the main target this year, Williams insists she feels in good shape ahead of the start of the outdoor season.
“Sheffield my first indoor competition of the season so it was good to blow the cobwebs away. I did want to run quick and I did want to run a PB so I’m happy,” she added.
“It’s so weird to be introduced as a double Commonwealth bronze medallist. I knew they were going to do it and I just thought concentrate on the race. But it’s nice for everyone to recognise what I’ve done.
“I had a few knee injuries in the winter so it kind of set me back. We just wanted to see what I could do and see what I’m capable of. I feel in good shape and I feel I can go faster.
“My aim is to run well and be healthy and then I can concentrate on Worlds in the middle of the season.”
© Sportsbeat 2015