Siblings Kendell and Devon Williams — both former Georgia and Kell High School standouts — began their competitions at the world track and field championships Wednesday, with varying levels of success in the heat of Doha, Qatar.
Kendell Williams was third through the first four events of the heptathlon, while Devon, her older brother, was 13th through the first five legs of the decathlon.
The 24-year-old Kendell Williams, a 2016 Olympian who finished second in the heptathlon at the U.S. championships in July, scored 3,855 points on Day 1 to rank behind Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson (4,138) and Belgium’s Nafisssatou Thiam (4,042), and just ahead of fellow Americans Erica Bougard (3,853) and Annie Kunz (3,840).
Williams started and ended the day strong. She won the 100-meter hurdles in 12.58 seconds and finished second in the 200 (23.62), but struggled in between with a 10th-place finish in the high jump (5 feet, 9¾ inches) and 16th-place finish the shot put (41-8½).
The heptathlon will continue Thursday with the long jump and javelin, concluding with the 800 on Friday.
The 25-year-old Devon Williams, who won the decathlon at the U.S. championships, struggled against international competition, scoring 4,142 points through the halfway point.
Williams opened with 10th-place finishes in the 100 dash (10.84) and long jump (24-1¾), then fell back to 20th in the shot put (45-1¾) and 19th in the high jump (6-4). He ended the day with a sixth-place finish in the 400 (48.37).
Canada’s Damian Warner led with 4,513 points.
The decathlon will continue Thursday with the 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault and javelin, concluding with the 1,500 on Friday.