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Head over heels

'He's been a big inspiration!'

Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Jamaica's double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson, who recently tied the knot, says hubby Derron Herah has been a source of inspiration.

The 27-year-old Thompson got married to longtime beau at the Old Fort Bay in the “Garden Parish” of St Ann to the 37-year-old Herah, a former athlete, who is now into coaching.

Thompson, who won gold at the Rio Olympics in Brazil in 2016 in both the 100m and 200m, told the Jamaica Observer that “I will use Thompson-Herah”.

“He has been a big inspiration to me because he knows about the track world,” Thompson-Herah pointed out.

“Every pain I feel I know he feels them too. But one thing I love about him the most he doesn't interfere with my training,” said the newlywed.

The Jamaican sprint queen says formalising the relationship has a special feel about it.

“Being married feels good because we have been living together for the past four years. We learn how to accept and tolerate each other and remember no relationship is perfect,” she added.

“I also have to keep reminding myself, he is no more boyfriend, he is my husband,” said Thompson-Herah.

Herah, who coached alongside the great Bertland Cameron, has a personal best of 47.52 for the 400m and 51.01 for the 400-m hurdle.

Thompson-Herah, who hails from Banana Ground in Manchester and attended Manchester High school, rose to prominence in 2016 when she became the first woman in 28 years to capture gold in the 100m and 200m at the same Olympics. American Florence Griffith-Joyner was the last person to achieve the feat at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games in South Korea.

Thompson-Herah, whose 100-m personal best is 10.70 seconds, is the joint current 100-m national record holder with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She also has a 200-m personal best of 21.66 achieved while copping silver in the 200m at the 2015 Beijing World Championships.

But since her 2016 exploits, Thompson-Herah has been struggling with a niggling calf and Achilles injury that has left her far from her best.

At the just-concluded Doha World Championships in Qatar, Thompson-Herah was fourth in the 100m and withdrew from the 200m and the 4x100-m relay because of the injury.

Her MVP coach Stephen Francis explained that she will not require surgery, but they hope to correct the problem so she can resume training this month in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.