MVP’s masterstroke?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — When word got out that the rising star of women sprinting, Elaine Thompson, was withdrawn from the 100m event at the National Championships, there was a collective sigh of disappointment among the Jamaican populace.
But what if Thompson is being prepared for an assault on the 200m, not only at Jamaica’s Championship, but also at the World Championship?
Thompson, 22, has been having a breakout year dipping below the 11-seconds barriers three times culminating with a personal best of 10.84 seconds.
Thompson announced herself to the world on April 11, clocking 10.92 seconds. She then showed that she was for real beating a world-class field including Blessing Okabare, Alison Felix and Kerron Stewart on May 9. Then on May 30 in Eugene, she achieved her personal best of 10.84 seconds.
So, Thompson’s withdrawal from the 100m was a blow to track and field fans who wanted to see her take on training partner and Olympic champion, Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown in the 100m.
But the Stephen Francis-led MVP seem to have other ideas and actually want to dominate all the sprint events ranging from the 100m, 200m to the 400m.
Based on what I saw, Fraser-Pryce is in the form of her life and will be unbeatable in Beijing. She wants to break her Jamaican national record of 10.70 set in 2012 and came pretty close with 10.79 seconds.
The astute Francis has always got it right with Fraser-Pryce when it comes to the big championships and this year, is no different.
The pocket rocket jogged her semi-final of 11.30 seconds and apparently shut down after 70m in the final and based on what I saw, she looks to be in shape to run 10.5 at the World Championships.
With Fraser-Pryce not doubling up in the 200m at the World Championships, MVP is still gunnig to win that event thus Thompson is expected to be the person to do that. The thinking is that, instead of getting first and second or first and third in the 100m, they would rather get gold in the 100m and gold in the 200m. Thompson, who has a personal best of 22.37 seconds, is expected to announce herself in that event in no uncertain manner. Sunday night local fans could see something special.
With American Sanya Richards-Ross failing to make the USA 400m team, the chances of MVP hunting a possible third gold courtesy of Stephanie McPherson has increased tremendously with only Francine McCorory realistically standing in her way.
MVP could have a fantastic World Championships as Kaliese Spencer is heavily favoured to capture the 400m hurdles event.
Howard Walker

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