Three days before reaching the women’s 100 meter final at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, Ariana Washington dealt with pain from her wisdom teeth to the point where she was thinking about going to the emergency room. Washington even went as far as saying she hadn’t eaten in three days.
“I’ve had a hard week with toothaches and other things, so I was just trying to push through and try to be a champion,” Washington said. “My wisdom teeth are coming in, so I haven’t eaten in like three days. I almost had to go to the ER about three nights ago, so just trying to hang in there.”
On her final day of competition though, she fought through and placed seventh overall in the women’s 100 meter final with a 11.64 time. Her personal best heading into competition was 11.22.
In the semifinals, Washington placed second in her group with a qualifying time of 11.73. Holding the third best personal best time in the final group, Washington was an intriguing possibility at making the podium.
She eventually lost out to her high-level competitors in the final; something she was prepared for.
“It was a little bit lower,” Washington said about her adjusted expectations. “I knew I wasn’t my best. I don’t eat like a regular athlete. My goal was to make the finals and I did.”
Making the podium were Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (11.23), Ecuador’s Ángela Tenorio (11.39) and Washington’s teammate Kaylin Whitney (11.45).
Even under the circumstances, Washington wasn’t pleased with her results. With her nagging mouth pain and the pressure of finishing out her career at the junior level, Washington simply looked tired and ready to be done.
She now has her career at Oregon to look forward to.
“It’s a work in progress,” Washington said. “I have four more years to work on it and succeed there (Oregon), so we’re (Washington and her coach) going for it.”
Follow Hayden Kim on Twitter @HayDayKim