Thompson happy with 'big' PB
At first, you could see Elaine Thompson attempting to hold back her joy, the smile peeking through, then a modest response.
" I don't think about any time. I just came here to execute like I've been doing in training. It was a pretty good race and I'm happy."
Then came the follow-up question: 10.84, how do you feel about that time?
"Aah," she screamed, unable to restrain her true feelings any longer. Now she was smiling from ear to ear, chuckling, struggling to catch her breath, after exiting the Hayward Field track, where she had just made a massive improvement on her 100 metres lifetime best, in the International (women's B race) at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet on Saturday.
Given her understandable expressions, you could not tell that she had placed second in the race.
"It's a big PB, I have to thank God. Training is really hard, it really showed on the track," exclaimed the Stephen Francis-coached 22-year-old, who is having a breakout season.
Thompson, whose prior 100m standard was 10.92, battled to the finish with a legal 1.5mps wind and American English Gardner, on the lead, pushing her after a poor start.
"It's my fourth 100 metres, first time running in Eugene, first time running with English Gardner. She is a good competitor, I've to give that to her," Thompson declared. "Competing a lot pushes you and lets you see where you're at each time."
signalled her arrival
The former Christiana and Manchester High athlete had recorded a 12.01 Champs best while a Class Two athlete. Now at the University of Technology (UTech), she was a virtual unknown until this year when a 10.92 win at UTech Classic signalled her arrival.
Victory in the main women's field at Jamaica International Invitational that included established world-class sprinters Kerron Stewart and Nigerian Blessing Okagbare outlined greater quality, even though the time was slower, 10.97.
Having gone much faster in Eugene, she now seeks improvement.
"The part I need to improve on is the first 30 metres, but I'm working on it, and it's getting better each day," she said.
Her build-up towards National Championships and August's World Championships continues with the Pietro Mennea Grand Gala Diamond League meeting in Italy on Thursday.
"There's no prediction, I'm just working towards that," Thompson laughed.
RESULTS: 1. Gardner 10.84, 2. Thompson 10.84, 3. Rosangela Cristina Olive (BRA) 11.04, 4. Jeneba Tarmoh (USA) 11.06, 5. Kimberlyn Duncan (USA) 11.22, 6. Barbara Pierre (USA) 11.24, 7. Ana Claudia Lemos (BRA) 11.30, 8. Kimberlyn Whitney (USA) 11.49.