Wed | Sep 26, 2018

Thompson sets sights on WC medal

Published:Monday | May 11, 2015 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
From left winner Elaine Thompson,Blessing Okagbare in the women's 100-metre final ,at the Jamaica International Invitational at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Emerging sprint star, the University of Technology's (UTech) Elaine Thompson, is now among the cream of the world's 100-metre crop, courtesy of two stand-out clockings recently.

The first race marked her arrival on the world stage, an eye-opening 10.92 at the UTech Classics. The other is saying: look out world I'm coming!

Thompson lined up against world-class sprinters Bles-

sing Okagbare of Nigeria, Americans Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh and fellow Jamaican Kerron Stewart, at the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) Meet on Saturday night, and outshone all with an impressive early-season 10.97 win.

"I was feeling good, I know I could win so I just go out there to execute as best as I could," she said.

"It wasn't one of the best starts, but I just didn't panic, I just went on and executed," she observed.

"I knew the names in the field were big, so I just didn't try to get nervous. I just went out there and delivered."

Thompson, who turns 23 next month, added: "The crowd response was marvellous."

Given her good showing, Thompson has set her sights

on a medal at the World Championship, which will be held at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing, China, in August.

"I see myself on that medal podium in Beijing. All I need to do now is to put in a little more extra work and just do the things I normally do, nothing new, just some more work," she emphasised.

A composed-looking race execution may give the impression that Thompson's recent wins were easy, but she contends otherwise.

"No, not easy. It's been months and days of training, so it is the hard work that is paying off now. I started training late September," she outlined.

"I train with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce; she helps to motivate me a lot," Thompson underscored.

There will come a time when the two line up against each other, but Thompson believes that day will speak for itself.

"Anything is possible. On that day the result will talk. Hopefully, I will get gold for Jamaica," she stated.

At a recent function, Bruce James, president of the MVP track club - to which Fraser-Pryce and UTech athletes are aligned - outlined Thompson's growth to indicate how his club operates.

"Two to three weeks ago, Elaine Thompson at her best was 11.17 seconds for the 100m and really one of numerous athletes who runs well, but was not considered a world threat. She is now the fastest woman in the world at 10.92 seconds," he noted.

"She trains hard, so don't give me these stories about naturally gifted athletes who are super fast and just run fast; she had to train," James underlined.

"When she got to the MVP track and field club she was as average and ordinary as anybody else would appear. Four years later, she is right now, the fastest woman in the world," he said proudly.

Thompson, a former Christiana High and Manchester High student, ran a best of 12.01 seconds in Class Two at 'Champs'.

She credits her advancement to her coach, Stephen Francis.

"Mr Francis, it's good working with him. He is a good coach and as everybody says he pushes me as well. He is the one who helps me to be where I am. I respect him a lot," outlined Thompson, whose times have placed her among those on the world stage.