Wed | Jan 20, 2021

‘It’s crazy’ - Thompson Herah talks COVID-19, competition and conditioning

Published:Friday | June 5, 2020 | 12:28 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson Herah says she has been working to maintain her mental and physical conditioning and is now looking forward to the start of competition, following a COVID-19 delayed season.

As is the case with most international competitions, the coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt to the track and field season, most notably forcing a postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Diamond League circuit.

Thompson Herah, pointing to its novelty, admitted that the pandemic has affected her considerably.

“It is the first disease I have seen cripple the world, and sometimes I am scared because I can’t travel and I can’t compete,” said Thompson Herah.

“It is crazy because everybody is feeling the same thing, and I just hope that it comes back to (normality) one day and we can go back on the track and start competing,” added Thompson Herah, who was speaking with host and fellow Olympian Sherone Simpson during yesterday’s Olympians Association of Jamaica panel discussion on Zoom.

Disappointed About Postponed Olympics

Thompson Herah, who was looking to successfully defend her 100m and 200m Olympic titles in Tokyo this year, also shared that, like most athletes, she was very disappointed with the postponement of this year’s Games.

“I was optimistic because after last year, things didn’t end so well. When the Olympics was postponed, I was so sad, but, basically, (I) am still training and training my mind to keep that mindset,” said Thompson Herah.

The Olympics are set to take place next summer while the Diamond League and Continental Tour season will get under way in August, five months after the first event in either series was originally scheduled.

“I saw a schedule with the Diamond League ending in October, and so I have to really and truly monitor my mind and be dedicated the same way to continue the process of training because a lot of athletes lose their shape in two days or one week,” she added. “If you don’t want to lose any fitness, and if you don’t want to lose any muscle, then you just have to continue training. (There are) days when I wake up and I don’t feel like going to training, but guess what, I have to do it because this is my work.”

Thompson Herah, who has had a long-standing Achilles-related injury, also noted that she was now in much better condition.

Yesterday’s panel also included Olympic swimmer Ali Atkinson, respected Jamaican track and field coach Maurice Wilson, and physiotherapist Dr Jo Brown.