Thompson-Herah denies split with MVPFriday, September 24, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Olympic Games sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah has rubbished reports that she has plans to sever ties with the MVP Track Club and coach Stephen Francis who has guided her career since 2014.
Just weeks after she ended her 2021 season, winning three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, and winning her third Diamond League 100m title, news broke yesterday that Thompson-Herah had written to MVP TC advising them of her intention to cut ties.
There was also speculation that she was to be coached by her husband Derron, himself a former athlete, but Thompson-Herah said 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,” Thompson-Herah 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 [saying] that I have died... it's always rumours. They always target me, I don't know why,” she said.
Asked how the rumours might have started, she surmised that her absence from the MVP training might have been the trigger. “Probably, because I have not shown up for practice. I am still on my rest period [but] 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,” the athlete said.
Thompson-Herah, who wore and black and pink Nike T-shirt, added: “The media always trying to create drama; I am on my rest until October.” She also suggested that the media might have misheard something and had run with it.
She is coming off arguably one of the greatest seasons, ever by a sprinter, setting national records in the 100m with 10.54 seconds and 200m with 21.53 seconds. The news which broke yesterday morning said she wrote to Francis indicating her desire to end the relationship.
However, though declaring the report a “rumour”, Thompson-Herah has not definitively denied that she sent a message to MVP indicating her desire to sever ties with the club, nor did she categorically state that she will return to training at the club next month.
Francis had also indicated in the media that until after the Heroes' Day holidays in October when athletes are expected back in training, he wouldn't be able to speak to this specific situation.
The 29-year-old Thompson-Herah created sprinting history by becoming the first woman ever to retain an Olympic sprint double title and followed up by running the second fastest-ever time in the 100m, clocking 10.54 seconds to win at the PreFontaine Classic in August, only behind Florence Griffith-Joyner's world record of 10.49 seconds. She also had three other times under 10.70 seconds as she ended the season on a high, winning her third Diamond League title.