Wed | Aug 23, 2017

No Thompson double before 2020 - Francis

Published:Saturday | June 24, 2017 | 6:00 AMRaymond Graham

Coach Stephen Francis says there were no plans for Elaine Thompson to double at the upcoming World Championships in London and that her next 100m-200m effort at a major championships will come at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

With spots for the team to the London event up for grabs, it was widely thought that double Olympic sprint champion Thompson would only have competed in the women's 200 metres at the ongoing Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association National Senior Championships.

This, of course, because she earned a bye in the 100m event by virtue of her Diamond Race win last season, combined with the pregnancy of defending world champion in the event, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

However, reports that the MVP Track Club star would not be competing in the 200m at the trials were confirmed on Thursday's opening day of action inside the National Stadium, where she lined up in the shorter sprint, with Francis explaining the decision.

"No, she will not as she is not running the 200 metres at the National Championships," said Francis, who underlined that it was never on the cards for his athlete to double in London.

LAST RACE

"It was never intended for her to double as this was said several times last year that she would not have doubled at a major Championships before Tokyo," he continued.

"Running the 100 metres at the National Championships was good for Thompson as this is the event she will be doing in London and she really needed the run as the last time she ran a 100 metres was in Shanghai, and now it is time for her to prepare for the World Championships by running the event," he added.

Asked why the long lay-off for Thompson, his reply was, "Generally, our athletes stop running two to three weeks before the National Championships, and Prefontaine was always scheduled to be her last race because Rome is a bit late this year."

Francis did note that his sprinter will, however, feature in more 200m races on the circuit this season.

"Yes, I am sure there are a lot of 200 metres around, and she wants to be a part of the Diamond League picture and to see if this is the event she will run at the next World Championships. She is a professional athlete, and so she will be running 200 metres, depending on the circumstances," Francis said, who also shared that the 100m run at the National Championships was used to test her spikes after experiencing some issues earlier.

"Recently, she has been having problems with her spikes she wore in her last race and she came out (to the National Championships) to test to see how her progress was and not running a lot of 100 metres. It was used to test her," Francis shared.