Sports

Doha double is definitely on the cards, says bubbly Thompson

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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In 2016, Elaine Thompson stepped up to the plate and did the sprint double at the Olympic Games in Brazil, claiming gold in the 100m and 200m as she beat back the challenge of her countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Dutchwoman Daphne Schippers.

The two subsequent years were almost unbearable for the Jamaican superstar who has had to battle an Achilles injury which has hindered her ability to perform at her best since Brazil.

But things seem to be changing for the better for the 27-year-old as she completed a fantastic sprint double at the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures Limited National Championships on the weekend.

Thompson ran a world-leading 10.73s to win the 100m on Friday only to return with another world-leading 22.00s in the 200m on Sunday, to claim that national title as well.

The sprint supremo appears to be rounding back into shape ahead of the World Championships in Qatar and with the defence of her Olympic titles just a year off.

She was philosophical in speaking about the injuries that have plagued her over the past two years.

“My last 200 title was in 2015, so I have to give God thanks and praise… since 2016 I had a hard time because of injuries and I think I have overcome those. I have to give God thanks every day, injuries do come along. You just have to just continue to motivate yourself.”

After a gruelling National Championships, Thompson is hoping for a quick break before she returns to the circuit at the weekend.

“It was a tough four days, I haven't competed for four days in a long while, so I have to be strong and just keep my focus. Now the championship is over I finally can sleep and eat some good food.”

“I have Prefontaine on Sunday coming, so I just have to regain my focus,” Thompson went on.

She gave a clear response to the question of doing the double at the World Championships.

“Yes, definitely.”

Whilst happy to complete the double at the championships in Kingston, it wasn't something that Thompson had necessarily planned for.

“It wasn't really a game plan, it's just the work that I put in… basically it's like training, I do 250s in training, I do 150s in training, so whatever is out there it's just like a training to me, it's just more aggression and more force.”

Early in the race, her main rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce crept up on her, but the Olympic champion refused to panic.

“I'm not a quick starter as Shelly-Ann and whenever I see a person pull up on me I don't panic I just keep on focusing on me, lifting and swinging, that is what I do.”

There will be no resting on the laurels for the MVP Track Club athlete who is ready to get back to work in this championship year.

“Our championship is earlier than other countries, so I think it puts me in a position to see where I am at. I'm not going to get too comfortable because other people out there are competing, so I just have to continue to put in the work, trust myself, trust in coach and confidently move to the World Championships.”

The two world leads and the convincing win in the 200m may suggest that Thompson is back to full strength, but she revealed that was not so.

“Honestly, I don't know what to do with this Achilles injury because everybody I go to, they don't know what to do. Sometimes rest doesn't help, but I found myself getting back in shape.

“This year I told myself that I am not going to stress out over this Achilles. Last year I was super stressed so this year I told myself, whatever it takes I am just going to follow, because it's a part of the sport. I have to just be more careful, get more treatment and strength work and just do what I have to do and hope for the best,” she said

Achilles problem or no Achilles problem, it is clear that Elaine Thompson will be a problem for her rivals in 2019.


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