Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Thompson: Shelly inspires me

Published:Friday | September 9, 2016 | 9:00 AMBRUSSELS, Belgium:
Elaine Thompson (right) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce embrace as they celebrate their one-three finish in the women’s 100m final at the Rio Olympic Games.

Jamaican newest sprint star, Elaine Thompson, has identified Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as a major source of inspiration, underlining that her former training partner has helped in her development as the world's top female sprinter today.

Thompson would not be drawn into saying too much about Fraser-Pryce's decision to quit the MVP Track Club, which she is also a part of, but noted that she believes that her compatriot will continue to be successful.

"Since I have been at MVP and UTech, (University of Technology) I have looked up to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce so much. She is my role model," said Thompson ahead of today's Brussels Memorial van Damme Diamond League stop. "She has taught me so much and has played a big part in motivating me.

"So that means that she does have something to do with where I am at today; but (as far as) the move (is concerned), I don't think I have anything to say on it, that's between her and her coach (Stephen Francis)," added Thompson.

"She (Fraser-Pryce) has done so much for the country and she still has a lot in store to do on the track ... . Let's see what happens in the future," Thompson said.

Thompson followed Fraser-Pryce, who won back-to-back Olympic 100m gold medals, into the Olympic history books with double sprint gold at the Rio Olympic Games a few weeks ago.

She will do the same, as far as it concerns the Diamond League, with a win in the 100m today, which will ensure that she follows up on Fraser-Pryce's Diamond Trophy success from last season.

 

THREE DIAMOND TITLES

 

Fraser-Pryce has, in fact, won three Diamond titles with wins also in 2012 and 2013, with Veronica Campbell-Brown - another Jamaican sprinting great - linking the Jamaican streak in the event with a Diamond Trophy win in 2014.

"I am very pleased to be here, it's my second time in Brussels after I ran the 200m last season. I had a great experience then and it's an even bigger experience ahead in the 100m and so I am really looking forward to it," said Thompson, who added that the cross hairs are on a fast time at the King Baudouin Stadium.

"I am looking forward to a good time tomorrow (today). Whatever I get, I will appreciate it, but I am looking forward to running fast," Thompson said. "I think I can go faster, but the times speak for themselves. When they come, I will accept it and if it happens tomorrow (today) I will be appreciative. It would be a nice way to end my season."

She will again face Dutch rival Dafne Schippers, who sits eight points behind her in the Diamond Race with 20 points up for grabs for first place and second bringing in 12; meaning a top-two finish for the Jamaican will guarantee her the Diamond Trophy.

 

WILLIAMS, FACEY TO COMPETE

 

Jamaicans Christania Williams and Simone Facey are also entered to compete here, with Jeneba Tarmoh (USA) also listed.

It's going to take some effort to beat Thompson, who hasn't lost a 100m race this year and has only lost two of her last 20 in the event.

"This year has been a great one for me. My coach tells me that my start was my biggest problem, I have worked on that and I think I have done well even though there is more to fix. Looking at the top ladies in the event and where I am right now, I have to give God thanks and be grateful for that. I have worked hard with my coach, so to be on top now in the 100m, I am really happy about that," added Thompson.

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com