Mon | Sep 25, 2017

'I'm moving forward' - Stunned Elaine vows comeback after 100m loss

Published:Monday | August 7, 2017 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe
Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson reacts after finishing fifth in the women's 100 metre final at the World Championships in London yesterday.
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LONDON, England:

Elaine Thompson kept a brave smile as she made her way off the London Stadium track, following last night's IAAF World Championships women's 100m final.

As the world struggled to make sense of what had just transpired, Thompson was willing herself to look on the bright side after failing to not only match her pre-championship expectations, but missing the podium altogether.

Thompson has had her way in the 100m for the last two or three years, the double Olympic champion suffering just three losses in her previous 34 races over the 100m ahead of last night's finale.

But midway the race, it became clear that Jamaican fans would be in for another rough evening at a championship that has only so far returned Usain Bolt's bronze medal in the men's 100m from a night before, after promising quite a bit more.

Thompson, who broke her stride at the 50-60-metre mark after she found herself chasing the leaders, would later confirm that she had not suffered an injury, and, like the rest of the world, was still searching for answers an hour after crossing the line in a shocking 10.98s fifth-place finish.

"It did not go as I planned. It was a tough field out there. Even though I was a favourite, I am disappointed but I am happy as well. I am healthy and injury-free, so I have to just tie my laces, pick myself up and move forward," Thompson said.

American Tori Bowie won the gold medal with a 10.85-second run with the Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou, 10.86, taking second and Dafne Schippers (Netherlands), 10.96, third.

"I don't know what happened. I have to go and watch the replay. I stumbled and tried to get it back. I wasn't getting the form I wanted to; I tried not to panic," she added.

"The mission is not finished, I have a lot of races after this championship, and even though my mission here was not accomplished, I still have to give thanks. It was a long and difficult season battling that Achilles injury," she noted.

"I came out here brave, strong and ready to go, but that didn't happen. But this defeat will push me harder and help me to work harder," said Thompson. "I can't repeat that race; it has ended. I have to move on and grow from this."

Thompson, who admitted that she threw up before the start of the race, downplayed the incident and suggested it was a regular occurrence for her, even though at least one other competitor in the final, Ta Lou, expressed concern after the contest.

Thompson added that she does not regret choosing to run only the 100m this season and said she did not approach the race with complacency.

"You have to win, you have to lose; this will help me to work harder and push through," said Thompson. "This championship didn't go as I planned and so it will have to help me to push forward. I accomplished a lot last year and the year before, but I have to use this defeat to my advantage."

She added: "I don't regret not running the 200m. I came just for the 100m and I will have to be satisfied with what I got."

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com