Sun | Oct 13, 2019

Elaine Thompson focusing on technique in Paris

Published:Saturday | August 24, 2019 | 12:21 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Thompson
Thompson

When Elaine Thompson settles into the blocks for the 100m at the Paris Diamond League meeting today, she’ll be more focused on technique than time. That’s what the 2016 Olympic double gold medallist revealed at a pre-meet press conference yesterday.

She arrived in Paris, France, as the joint fastest woman in the world, alongside training partner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, at 10.73 seconds.

“It’s going to be my second 100m after my national trials, so I’m just looking for a great competition tomorrow,” she explained yesterday in reference to her gold-medal run at the Pan American Games. Asked how fast she might run today, she noted that she was in a cycle of heavy training.

“I wouldn’t say a fast time because I’m actually under load, but I’m looking forward for a great competition, great weather, and just a good technical race,” she said.

She faces 2017 World 100m and 200m runner-up Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast and the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers, who has won silver and bronze in the last two World Championships 100m finals. Also listed for the Paris race are up-and-coming Jamaican sprinters Jonielle Smith and Natalliah Whyte and United States champion Teahna Daniels.

ONGOING ISSUE

Thompson has logged a steady season so far, and one contributor is the management of her ongoing Achilles tendon issue.

“I have times when I could barely push from the blocks, so it slows me down like way more than I think,” she said, “but I think I’m getting more to handle it better and getting more treatment, and I think I’m managing quite well.”

Thompson, who beat Ta Lou 10.91 to 10.96 seconds in Paris in 2017, pinpointed the June 6 Rome Diamond League 100m race as a turning point in her season.

“When I came back from Rome, I ran a 10.89,” she said. “I think that boosted me to get more confident going into the nationals trials. Being at that line, honestly, I was super nervous because I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know what time to expect.”

She was splendid there, catching Fraser-Pryce on the line in 10.73 seconds.

“I eventually got a season’s best and a world lead,” she said with a smile, “but I have to just continue to work hard and get the races in and get my preparation going to the World Championships.”

Her Nationals 100m/200m double lifted a weight off her slim shoulders.

“To find back my groove at my national trials, it was overwhelming and a big relief for me.”

A strong run in Paris will see Thompson through to the league 100m final in Brussels, Belgium, on September 6.