As she looks forward to what could be her final race this season on the final day of the Diamond League season in Zurich on Thursday, double, double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah said she kind of surprised herself with the incredible success she has experienced this year.

Since she won her first sprint double in 2016, the first woman to do so since Florence Griffith-Joyner at the Seoul Games in 1988, Thompson-Herah failed to win a medal at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. However, at the Toyko 2020 Olympics this past summer, Thompson-Herah became the first woman in Olympic history to win back-to-back sprint doubles.

She set a new Olympic record of 10.51 in the 100m and set a lifetime best of 21.53 to win the 200m titles. She added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that set a new national record of 41.02, the third-fastest time in history.

Weeks later she won the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic in 10.54, the second-fastest time ever run and then followed up with 10.64 to finish second to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Lausanne and then 10.72 in Paris.

Speaking at a press conference this morning before she takes to the track on Thursday, the history-making Olympic champion said she has not yet had time to take it all in.

“It hasn’t sunk it as yet. I think because I knew I had a long season I don’t want to get too carried away, too excited and the focus is still continuing the season for next year and the years to come. After the season ends I can say hurrah, hooray and I watch back my videos and see what I have done and say yes, I did it,” she said.

“Being the fastest woman alive, I think I still haven’t known what I have done yet. Because I have put in all the work and I have achieved, it is not something I never expect myself to do but my expectations were not high but I think I surprised myself this entire season with everything that I have done so far.”

On Thursday, Thompson-Herah will line up against Dina Asher-Smith, Natasha Morrison, Javianne Oliver, Daryll Neita, Marie Jose Ta Lou and the Swiss pair of Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji in the 100m.

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce concedes that Elaine Thompson-Herah is much closer to the 100m world record than she is but says that it good that women are now able to challenge the 33-year-old standard set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner.

The Tokyo Olympics 100m silver medalist was speaking at a press conference Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she, Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson will once again line up for the 100m in a field that also includes local talents Mujinga Kamnundji, Ajla del Ponte and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.

Talk of the world record heated up last weekend when Thompson-Herah sped to a world-leading and personal best 10.54 while winning the blue-riband dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. The time is only 0.05s off the world record of 10.49.

Fraser-Pryce, who ran a personal best of 10.63 in June, believes that the world record is now being challenged is a boon for the sport and women’s sprinting.

“As for running the world record, Elaine is much, much closer than I am so it’s good to be able to challenge a record that for women that for a long time we thought was impossible,” she told media gathered for the press conference,” and it speaks to the evolution of sprinting and what mechanics can do to sprinting and the different things that are involved in sprinting, so to be able to be in that conversation or to have that conversation is truly remarkable.”

Fraser-Pryce, who ran 10.73 while finishing second to Thompson-Herah in Eugene, expressed optimism that fast times – maybe even the world record - can be achieved on the track in Lausanne on Thursday.

“I know that Lausanne has a very good track; I ran 10.7 here in 2019 after coming off a plane, so I know it’s a very good track. So, hopefully, tomorrow the ladies will have a superb race and we will see how it goes at the end.”

 

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic triple gold medalist, will take on American upstart Sha ‘Carri Richardson and a stacked field that includes the Olympic 100m silver and bronze medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, respectively, in a blue-ribbon showdown at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet on Saturday, August 21 in Eugene, Oregon.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100/200m double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, created history in Tokyo earlier this month when she became the first woman to successfully defend both titles at the same Olympics.

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61, eclipsing the 10.62 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul in 1988 and followed up by winning the 200m in a personal best of 21.53, which made her the second-fastest woman in history.

She then added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m sprint relay team that established a new national record of 41.02.

The 21-year-old Richardson, who ran a personal best 10.72 in April, won the 100m at US trials in July in 10.86. However, she was subsequently banned for a month after testing positive for THC, a derivative of marijuana. Her omission triggered a debate about whether she would have won had she been allowed to compete in Tokyo.

However, the much-touted American will not only be facing the Olympic champion in the blue-ribbon sprint. She is also facing a motivated Fraser-Pryce, the second-fastest woman in the world this year and the third fastest all time, who is likely to be still smarting from her loss in the Olympic 100m final.

The 34-year-old two-time Olympic champion (2008, 2012) was considered the overwhelming favourite to land a third 100m Olympic title following her 10.63s run at the National Stadium in Kingston on June 5. However, she finished second to Thompson-Herah in 10.74.

The Olympic 100m bronze medalist Jackson, who ran a personal best 10.76 in Tokyo, has also been included in the line-up that will also feature, Tokyo relay gold medalist Briana Williams (10.97), Teahna Daniels (10.98), Javiane Oliver (10.96) and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, who ran a personal best 10.78 in Tokyo.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji who has run a season-best 10.96, is also listed for the clash that is perhaps the fastest field ever assembled.

 

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