NEWS

Oh no!

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

DOHA, Qatar — Jamaica's double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson has been pulled from the remainder of the IAAF World Athletic Championship by her coach Stephen Francis because of an existing injury that returned during the 100m.

Thompson, who has a personal best of 10.70, never looked her usual explosive self and placed fourth in the 100m in 10.93, behind teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won in 10.71.

After the event, Thompson mentioned that she was not comfortable but didn't want to blame her injury, and as such, returned for the 200m heat where she placed second in 22.61. She however could not face the starter for her semi-final yesterday.

She told the Jamaica Observer that she never wanted her championship to end this way.

“This is not the end I had hoped for given all the hard work and preparation leading up to the World Championships. But I just have to mentally put this behind me and focus on my health and recovery ahead of the 2020 season,” said Thompson.

Meanwhile, coach Francis pointed out that the niggling injury is not directly to the Achilles, but instead another part of her body that causes a domino effect to her Achilles.

“It's not an Achilles injury. Her Achilles gets tight because of something elsewhere. So it's not an injury to her Achilles. She has tight muscles in her body that in turn pull on her tendon,” he explained.

“Well, she just couldn't run. Her feet were bothering her and it started sometime during the 100m semi-final and she tried to go yesterday (Monday) and it got a little worse and today (Tuesday) she warmed up and it couldn't go. So we have to turn attention to try and see if we can get it fixed,” he pointed out.

Francis noted that she has been battling the injuries in both feet from August.

“The process of trying to treat it makes her not very good in terms of her explosiveness. It didn't work out, but hopefully we can get it to come to a solution and see if it can be a permanent fix,” said Francis.

“I doubt if surgery will be involved because she has not had a rupture in her tendon. She has extremely tight calves which puts her lower foot under pressure. So we have to find a methodology to deal with that issue so that she can prepare and race properly,” he continued.

With Francis's withdrawal of Fraser-Pryce in the 200m and now Thompson, Jamaica, for the first time in many moons, won't be having a finalist in the 200m. But Francis is not perturbed.

“The two are not connected. The decision for Shelly is based on Shelly's long-term future including the Olympics next year and the decision for Elaine is based on her future. The two are not connected,” he pointed out.

However, Francis, who unleashed a rough diamond in Tajay Gayle to mine long jump gold, said the signs were there that all was not well with Thompson.

“I suspected, from we were at training camp, that she was not at full fitness. However, we had expected that she would be able to medal in the 100m and see what happens in the 200m,” he noted.

“It didn't turn out that way, so I guess that's a disappointment. But it's one of those things in sports and she just has to wheel and come again. There is a relatively short preparation period for next year and I think we will be able to find a solution and see what happens come November when she starts back practice,” said Francis.

Thompson's withdrawal from semi-final two left Jamaica's hopes on Shashalee Forbes, but she finished in eighth spot in semi-final one in 23.14.

Since the inception of the World Championships in 1983, Jamaica has had a finalist in the 200m until 2017 when that record was broken.