Mon | Jan 17, 2022

Three time’s the charm

Thompson Herah speaks on finally copping world athlete title and the prospect of winning first World Championships

Published:Saturday | December 4, 2021 | 12:07 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Elaine Thompson Herah goes through a training exercise at the Stadium East track on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
Elaine Thompson Herah goes through a training exercise at the Stadium East track on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
Elaine Thompson Herah
Elaine Thompson Herah
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Yesterday marked the first day after Elaine Thompson Herah’s World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year accomplishment. Thompson Herah became the third Jamaican woman to have achieved the feat, following in the footsteps of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Merlene Ottey and Gleaner Sports caught up with the double-double Olympic Champion.

Minutes after her Thursday morning workout at the Mico University College playfield, Thompson Herah gave an exclusive interview on her feelings about winning the award and her plans for the 2022 season .

“First, I must give God thanks for the award as the past season has been a historical one for me,” she said.

“ I am very elated and it is a wonderful feeling knowing that I was able to beat such a very strong field to claim this award which has eluded me twice,” she continued.

Thompson Herah, who, despite being the outright fastest woman in the world, has never won a World Championship title, is aiming to break that drought next year in Eugene, Oregon.

“My main focus is to be a world champion and I am extremely motivated following my success in 2021. People see me as an Olympic baby and I also want to be seen as a World Championships baby. I have never won this title and this is pretty much my target, but I will not be pressuring myself and I have nothing to prove as I am just trusting the process and remaining positive,” the 2015 bronze medallist from Beijing said.

DRIVING FORCE

Today, Thompson Herah is a driven woman and, interestingly, it is her very own achievements that are doing the driving.

“What I have done by winning back-to-back sprint doubles and coming close to a world record, which many thought was way out of reach, has inspired me. I am my own inspiration. I have never doubted myself and I am aspiring to work even harder and I have been putting in the hard work.”

The road to a World Championship title in 2022, though just beginning, has already proven fraught with danger.

Thomson Herah has changed coach and training site, begging the question, will she be able to replicate the magic that came from the combination of her quick feet and the tutelage of Stephen Francis?

“No, this has not affected me one bit, as I love my new environment at The Mico University College. It is quiet and peaceful,” she said.

Lest it be shrugged under the rug, Thompson Herah made sure to give much of the credit for her performances to her fans, who she said have always been there.

“I love my fans although I know sometimes they come down hard on you when you do not do well. But they are always there for me and I want to thank them for their support and I will always make them proud,” she said.

sports@gleanerjm.com