Sun | Oct 22, 2017

A double is difficult - Thompson happy with 100m focus for World Champs

Published:Sunday | July 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe
Jamaica's Elaine Thompson competing in the 100m at the recent IAAF Diamond League meet in Paris.

LONDON, England:

Jamaican sprinting star Elaine Thompson, while underlining the difficulty of doubling up at a major event, says she is happy with the decision to focus on only the 100 metres at next month's World Championships.

Thompson, who won gold medals in the 100m and the 200m at the 2016 Olympic Games in what was her first attempt at the sprint double at a major international championship, echoed the words of her coach Stephen Francis, who said that her next 100m-200m tandem will likely take place at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

She will headline a list of 13 Jamaicans who will compete at today's Muller Anniversary Games in London at the Olympic Stadium, the same venue which will host the August 4-13 World Championships.

The Jamaican only contested the 200m at the last World Championships in Beijing two years ago despite showing impressive 100m speed. She expects to alternate between the events in upcoming championships before attempting another double in a little less than four years' time in Tokyo.

"We decided to do only one event this season, the 100m, and I am happy with that decision. Last year, it was really tough to double. It was my first Olympics and my first time doubling and I did awesome then, but it takes a lot of hard work to double," Thompson said.

 

MORE CONFIDENT

 

"Doing the 100m alone this year will give me a push and focus to see how much more I can do (in the event) and to work towards 2020 to see if I can double that year," added Thompson, who said that her Brazilian success has made her significantly more confident every time she steps to the line.

"I feel great," Thompson shared. "I surprised myself at the Olympics because I did not expect to win. I had a hamstring injury going into the trials and I didn't get to really race after the trials, so I didn't know how race sharp I was, so going into the Olympics and getting the medals was amazing. I am confident going into the (World) championships and I am looking forward to it as well."

The event will be contested over two rounds with a 12:35 p.m. (6:35 a.m. Jamaica time) heat preceding the final set for 2:40 p.m. (8:40 a.m.).

Sashalee Forbes and Christania Williams also have lanes in the event, but Thompson's biggest threat will come from Dafne Schippers, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Morolake Akinosun and Murielle Ahoure, who, like her, have all gone sub-11 seconds this year.

Fedrick Dacres carries quite the reputation on the circuit these days and he has a chance to take over control of the tussle to the Diamond Race final in the discus event when he lines up against world leader Daniel Stahl, who also leads the pack in the points standings, as well as Andrius Gudzius and World champion Piotr Malachowski all in the mix.

Olympic finalists Leah Nugent, Ristananna Tracey and Janieve Russell go up against Olympic champion and world leader Dalilah Muhammad, Cassandra Tate and Wanda Nel in the 400m hurdles, while Damar Forbes, who posted a personal best of 8.29m a month ago, confirmed for the long jump event.

Megan Simmonds will look to impress against world record holder Kendra Harrison in a strong 100m hurdles field, which also includes Shakira Nelvis, Christina Manning, Nia Ally and Sally Pearson.

National champion Shericka Jackson and Novlene Williams-Mills will be joined by Verone Chambers in the 400m while Rasheed Dwyer is the lone Jamaican in the men's 200m event.

 

Schedule:

 

- 6:25 a.m: Women's 400m hurdles - Leah Nugent, Janieve Russell, Ristananna Tracey

- 6:30 a.m: Men's discus - Fedrick Dacres

- 6:35 a.m: Women's 100m heats (Final: 8:40 a.m.) - Elaine Thompson, Sashalee Forbes, Christania Williams

- 7:03 a.m: Men's long jump - Damar Forbes

- 7:24 a.m: Women's 100m hurdles heats (Final: 9:17 a.m.) - Megan Simmonds

- 8:13 a.m: Men's 200m -Rasheed Dwyer

- 8:49 a.m: Women's 400m - Novlene Williams-Mills, Verone Chambers, Shericka Jackson