Thompson-Herah motivated to defend Olympic Games sprint double

Thompson-Herah motivated to defend Olympic Games sprint double

Saturday, December 05, 2020

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Defending her double sprint titles at next year's postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, will be more of a motivation for her rather than pressure says Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Thompson-Herah, who also finished the truncated 2020 season as the fastest woman over the 100m after running 10.85 seconds at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome in mid-September, says she will continue her preparation for the July start of the Games which were postponed by 12 months from this year on account of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“I will just reset and continue to do my work, take each race and each month at a time,” she said in an interview with World Athletics earlier this week in preparation for today's Athlete of the Year award ceremony where she is one of the five finalists.

Thompson-Herah, who was also nominated in 2016 after her double gold medal success in Rio, expressed her surprise at being nominated for the prestigious award. “Honestly, I was a little shocked as I was not expecting to be nominated and I must say I am very pleased to be amongst these ladies and its a wonderful feeling, but I was shocked at first.”

The other four female nominees are Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey; Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands; Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya and Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas.

The male nominees are Norway's Karsten Holmes; Germany's Johannes Vetter; Sweden's Mondo Duplantis; Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda and American shot putter Ryan Crouser.

Thompson-Herah described the past season as “weird,” indicating that because of the pandemic “we thought everything was going to be on pause for a while but that did not happen and I thank World Athletics for putting on the Diamond League meets and also thanks to MVP Track Club back home in Jamaica for putting on meets that helped to get us prepared.”

The sprinter, who was unbeaten over the 100m all season, said it was different running in empty venues, “but we still managed to put on a show and to be fastest this year so I am grateful”.

Asked about her consistent high level of performance Thompson-Herah said: “I guess some will say Elaine is back but she did not go anywhere. I was just getting over my injury and 2020 has given me the chance to fully recover and I am grateful to be able to race every weekend pain free and get some good times in. That puts me in a position right now to see where I was in 2020 and what to look forward to next year.”

She did admit that with the postponement of the Olympics she had to dig deep into her reserves to be able to continue training. “The most challenging thing was to get out of bed knowing there was no Olympics but I managed to do that, to push myself each day and put in the work and to get the results.”


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