Jamaican Toni-Ann Williams created history on Sunday night when she became the Jamaica’s first gymnast to secure qualification to an Olympic Games.
After strong a performance at the Rio Olympic Test event, Williams finished 38th overall, and 16th as an individual not competing with a full team, with a 52.931 total in the all-around.
She is also the first University of California, Berkeley (Cal) women’s gymnastics student-athlete to qualify for the Olympics in the history of the program.
The 20-year-old gymnast’s best score was a 14.066 on vault, which ranked her 24th among competitors. She also finished in the top 35 on beam (29th, 13.666) and floor (32nd, 13.366). Williams tallied an 11.833 on bars.
Despite claiming that he had expected Williams to achieve the significant milestone Jamaica coach Justin Howell admits he has been floored by the achievement.
“What an amazing accomplishment. It’s a little surreal at the moment, but we believed without a doubt that she would qualify,” Howell said in a news release.
Williams initially finished below another Jamaican competitor Danusia Francis at last year’s World Championships but was given the nod by the Jamaica Gymnastics Association to compete at the Rio event. The athlete a California Institute of Technology (CAL) student missed the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships to compete at the Rio Olympic Test Event.