Sun ignores world-class gymnast Toni-Ann Williams

October 17, 2011

This weekend, NBC will devote four hours of coverage to the World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, yet The Sun couldn't manage four lines in the sports section to highlight a Baltimore-area athlete who competed at this precursor to the Olympic. You won't see Toni-Ann Williams on television, as she peeled off the bars in her second rotation and couldn't finish the routine because she literally ripped her palm off. But undaunted and bandaged, she went on to wow the arena by sticking her double front off beam and performing world class tumbling on the floor exercise. Her determination to continue the competition for which she's been training 30 hours per week, 52-weeks-a-year is an inspiration to the 90,000-plus participants in competitive gymnastics programs all over the country.

Toni-Ann, who has dual citizenship, is the first gymnast ever to represent Jamaica at an international level, and because of the qualification system there is still a possibility that the nation could get a bid for one athlete to compete at Olympic trials in January in London. If Toni-Ann goes, perhaps The Sun's sports section could eschew another tailgate recipe to dedicate a bit of space to this 15-year-old hometown girl who, with a disastrous fall and an unfinished event, still placed 167th in the world a sport that plenty of people are apparently interested in.

Kari Barnes, Reisterstown

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