Daegu snub by Williams is mistake, warns van Commenee

However, the Hertfordshire schoolgirl has turned down Lottery funding and the wishes of UKA for her to compete in the 4x100m relay in Daegu, meaning the Olympics will almost certainly be her first major outdoor championship.

“It would not be my choice,” Van Commenee said. “I’ve spoken to the coach (Mike McFarlane) and to the father (Richard) in October and afterwards and they have decided she was not going to go.

“The father feels she should not be away for such a long time at such a big distance from home, school was mentioned, and the coach feels that he could prepare her for the Olympics without being at the world championships. Those are the three reasons given to me.”

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Asked if he could persuade Williams and her family otherwise, Van Commenee added: “I’ve tried enough. I’ve encouraged her to go.

“I failed to convince so I am not in the position to hijack her, put a chain around her neck and put her in a plane and put a gun in her back and say ‘Now you’re going in the blocks’. I can’t do that.

“It would be my choice to go but I’m not a father, I’m certainly not her father. I understand that parents see a bigger picture and I have to respect that.”

As for future participation in 4x100m relay squads, Van Commenee added: “The door is still open but, having said that, I also want the team to be prepared.

“So when it comes to final selection, which is done a few weeks before the Games, I’ll select the best team and that’s not necessarily always the fastest.”

Speaking about Lottery funding, Williams said: “I don’t think the contract was suited for my age and they weren’t willing to adjust it for me.

“They would have complete control over where I raced and they would probably have made me go to the worlds. It’s to have a bit more control over what I do.”