Tue | Jan 18, 2022

T&F News picks Thompson Herah

Published:Thursday | April 15, 2021 | 12:10 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Thompson Herah
Thompson Herah

Elaine Thompson Herah will defend her 100m title at the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year. That is the assertion contained in an early set of predictions by the respected US publication Track and Field News. Overall, Jamaica’s women are tipped to win eight medals.

A day after the magazine’s website tipped the Jamaican men’s team to visit the Tokyo podium five times, Track and field News predicted that Thompson will lead 2008 and 2012 100m winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and young American star Sha’Carri Richardson to the finish in the 100m event.

The 21-year-old Richardson clocked a super time of 10.72 seconds on April 10 in Miramar, Florida.

If realised, a win for Thompson Herah would make her the fourth woman to win the 100m twice, after Americans Wyomia Tyus and Gail Devers, as well as Fraser-Pryce herself. A win for the latter would make her the only woman to take the event three times.

The predictions also list Jamaica as the gold medal team in the 4x100m relay.

Thompson Herah, who was absent through injury when Jamaica won the relay at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, is picked as runner-up behind Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo and ahead of Britain’s World champion Dina Asher-Smith in the 200m.

Also listed as a runner-up is 100m hurdler Danielle Williams.

Jamaica’s leading middle-distance runner Natoya Goule is predicted to take third place in the 800m event.

Triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts and shot putter Danniel Thomas-Dodd both won silver medals in the 2019 World Championships but appears in third place in this set of predictions.

Even without any mention for the mixed 4x400m relay in either set of predictions, the combined medal total matches the nation’s record total of 13, won at the 2009 World Championships. That haul included seven gold medals, five more than indicated for Jamaica in the prognostications by Track and Field News.

The United States, Jamaica and Bahrain took gold, silver and bronze in the mixed relay in Doha.

Miller-Uibo, the reigning Olympic 400m champion appears behind Salwa Eid Naser, the Bahrani World champion, in the one-lap prediction. Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, who was third in Doha behind Eid Naser and Miller-Uibo, isn’t picked for a repeat of her bronze at the 2016 Olympics. Wadeline Jonathas, the Haiti-born American, has instead been promoted from her fourth-place finish in Doha.

Similarly, there is no space on the predicted podium for Jamaica’s 2019 bronze medallist Rushell Clayton in the 400m hurdles.

Track and Field News expects a US sweep, with young star Sydney McLaughlin stopping World champion Dalilah Muhammad, while 2014 World Junior champion Shamier Little, who ran 49.91 seconds for the flat 400m in Miramar, is slotted for third.

Muhammad set a world-record 52.16 seconds to win in Doha. McLaughlin and Clayton established personal best of 52.23 and 53.74 seconds, respectively.