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'Biggest disappointment' - Thompson hopes World Champs loss will push her to future triumphs

Published:Thursday | August 31, 2017 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe
Elaine Thompson

BRUSSELS, Belgium:

Today, she will try to win US$50,000 (J$6.4 million) and retain her 100m title at the AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme Brussels Diamond League final inside the King Baudouin Stadium.

Still, Jamaican sprinting star Elaine Thompson just simply cannot escape the questions following her disappointing fifth-place finish at the World Championships in London - questions, she admitted, she does not know the answers to.

Nevertheless, Thompson admitted that her London 2017 finish is the biggest disappointment of her career, and she is hoping that like the iconic Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt - someone she described as an inspiration - she, too, can turn setbacks into future triumphs.

Thompson, the double Olympic champion, arrived in London as the overwhelming favourite to win the 100m title. It was to be her first World Championships gold medal after her introductory 200m silver a couple of years prior.

"It's a funny season. Track and field is a funny sport," Thompson said. "I started out really well. I wanted things to go the way I planned and hoped for the season, but I still have to give God thanks. I had my downfall at the World Championships. It's my biggest disappointment in my career, but it is also my biggest motivation to keep working hard."

She has been ordained as a future Jamaican sprinting icon - the follow-up to the retired Bolt, who she is hoping to mirror, where bouncing back from setbacks is concerned. Thompson noted that she was recently watching old footage of Bolt competing and saw where he failed to advance from the first round of the 200m at the 2004 Olympics before going on to dominate the sport.

"If you look back at when Usain started out, he didn't win [at] his first (Olympics) ... . You have to be defeated to be a good champion, and this will motivate me to be a good champion, a better opponent, and a good sportswoman, so I know I have to continue to work," Thompson said. "He continues to motivate me. Sometimes I watch his races and see how far he has been and where he is coming from, and really, that loss at the World Championships will help me to stay motivated.

"Honestly, I didn't find it difficult to bounce back because you have to get beaten sometimes, or you sometimes have to lose a race to see how good you are. I lost at the World Championships this season [to Torie Bowie], but sometimes the way you plan things don't work out," said Thompson. "I know I can't dwell on it. I have to move forward; I am just 25 [years old], I have a long career in front of me."