Thompson-Herah admits to training independently of MVP Track ClubWednesday, October 20, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Five-time Olympic Games sprint gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah appears to have had a change of heart about showing up at the St Andrew-based MVP Track Club to start preparations for the next track and field season.
Thompson-Herah, who set two national records in the recent Tokyo Olympics, as she became the first woman ever to retain the sprint double, was expected to show up at the Stephen Francis-led club on Monday to start her preparation for the 2022 season, but issued a release later in the day saying she “was still in the process of finalising her training arrangements for the 2022 season”.
While not addressing the subject of who will guide her or where she will be based, Monday's release said the double-Olympic champion is considering all options available concerning her team. “In light of an abundance of requests from all my fans and concerned Jamaicans, I want to assure everyone that I have begun my training independently and will continue to do so while I finalise all aspects of my team for the upcoming season,” she was quoted to have said.
News broke last month that Thompson-Herah had broken ties with the Stephen Francis-led club after seven years but she had refuted the claims telling an American television sports show that it was “rumours” and blamed the media for creating mischief.
“You know what the news media is like, I am the fastest woman alive so they are going to try to create some form of news to try and distract the world,” she had told American journalists Michael Holley and Michael Smith on the NBC magazine show Brother from another.
“It's rumours of course, I have seen articles in the media that I have died..it's always rumours, they always target me, I don't know why.”
Given that she had competed late into the last season, while winning her third World Athletics Diamond League trophy for the 100m, Thompson-Herrah was given extra time off and was not expected to start training until mid-October, she had explained then.
“Probably because I have not shown up for practice – I am still on my rest period – people might be speculating why she is not in practice. But we just came back from the international circuit and we normally get about a month's rest and I am in my second week, so people are just assuming things and spreading rumours,” said Thompson-Herah. “The media always trying to create drama, I am on my rest until October,” she noted, while adding that the media might have misheard something and ran with it.
The release also said, “I want to thank everyone for their support and express appreciation to those who have reached out in concern. I remain committed to representing my country and to lead with courage and grace as I am aware that I inspire young women across the world who have dreams and who dare to see those dreams come to pass.”
Thompson-Herah shook off a persistent Achilles injury that threatened to affect the defence of her titles to become the second-fastest woman ever, over both the 100m and 200m, running personal best times of 10.54 seconds and 21.53 seconds, respectively, in what was one of the best seasons ever for a sprinter.