Mon | Dec 4, 2023

‘I can still get back to my best’

Thompson Herah plans World Champs relay redemption

Published:Sunday | August 20, 2023 | 12:09 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter

Elaine Thompson Herah gets ready for a training session at the Hungarian University of Sports Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday.
Elaine Thompson Herah gets ready for a training session at the Hungarian University of Sports Sciences in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday.

BUDAPEST, Hungary:

THE OBSTACLES have been plenty and with that Elaine Thompson Herah’s role at these World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, is a little different from the norm.

But there are other differences too.

The double Olympic sprint champion, for instance, now has a new member on her coaching team, though husband Derron Herah is still the head coach.

The obstacles, largely injury issues, have not dampened her spirit and she is still confident of repeating the successes she has enjoyed.

Thompson Herah will be tasked to help Jamaica take gold in the women’s 4x100 metres next week. She is feeling good about that task but also feels that the addition of former MVP coach Shanikie Osbourne will help her in the bid to make a trifecta of double sprint titles at next year’s Olympic Games.

“It was something in my mind for a year and a half now. I wanted her [Osbourne] to come on the team and I said after the trials ‘why not call her to come and be a part of the team now, feel her out now before we start the 2024 season’. I think working with her now to the end of the season will give me more time to make a decision to see if I really want to stick with her for the rest of the years to come,” Thompson Herah said.

Thompson Herah has had a rough season, with injuries delaying her 100-metre opener to just two weeks before the National Senior and Junior Championships where she failed to make the individual 100m team. Thompson Herah believes Obsourne can help to manage those injuries and return her to her best.

“She is a person that knows what she is looking for and based on what we discussed and talked about that bothers my injuries, I am trying to prevent doing stuff that work it up. A team makes the dream work and I was looking for somebody to help me to get back to where I was,” Thompson Herah said.

That team will still involve her husband Derron, who she unequivocally said will not be left out.

“He is still a part of the team. We will never leave him out,” Thompson Herah said.

She is determined to do her part to help Jamaica achieve redemption after they missed a gold medal last year they felt good enough to have grabbed.

And while the obstacles have been immense, she is not doubting herself or her ability to get back to the form that saw her become the second fastest woman ever.

“I think when you are a true champion, you’re not going to have everything summed up the way you want. And If I was winning, winning, maybe I would be bored. I wouldn’t have anything to work on,” Thompson Herah said.

“But the fact that I have so many hurdles and obstacles to fight, I will keep fighting because I do believe that I am the greatest sprinter of all time. And until it’s proven, I will do whatever I can to repeat whatever I have done before.”