Flood of interest to take over coaching reins of Thompson-Herah
There is a flood of interest by local and overseas coaches to take over as head conditioner for five-time Olympic Games gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Jamaica Observer has been reliably informed.
Sources close to the situation say offers have been pouring in since news broke on Monday that Thompson-Herah had parted ways with Coach Shanikie Osbourne, whose contract was not renewed as the parties could not find common ground on wages and other terms of engagement.
Speaking on a Jamaican television Thursday evening, Thompson-Herah’s husband Derron said during the negotiations they had an offer that included unusually large bonuses in addition to a base salary, but a third party, who was acting on behalf of Osbourne at the time, suggested they lowered the bonuses and increased the base salary.
“The Sunday morning when I got the response by text,” Herah said, “I had to send back the figure with a question mark and asked if there was an extra digit.”
He said the figure quoted was “just under a million US dollars, over 100 million Jamaican dollars,” and that the person confirmed there was no mistake in the figures.
A source told the Jamaica Observer that the figure was US$750,000 ($115,500,000).
Thompson-Herah, who had endured successive injury-affected seasons is preparing for a shot at defending her back-to-back women’s sprint double at the Olympic Games in Paris next year.
When contacted on Thursday afternoon, Marvin Anderson, head of Andi Sports Management, Thompson-Herah’s agents, confirmed they had been getting applications but refused to go any further.
“All we can say right now is that we have heard from a number of coaches and we hope to make an announcement soon,” he told the Observer.
Anderson would not go into any details as to whether the applications were from local or overseas interests. When asked if the athlete was leaning to a foreign-based or local coach, Anderson was diplomatic in his response.
“We are not going to get boxed down into any location. Mrs Thompson-Herah’s comfort will be paramount in the decision,” he said.
News broke earlier this week that Thompson-Herah, who won the women’s sprint double at the last two Olympic Games, and also owns the second-fastest time (10.54 seconds) ever run by a woman over the 100m, had not renewed her coaching arrangement with Osbourne, which opened the way for the rush of coaches wanting to fill the privileged slot.
On Wednesday, AndiSports Management said in a release that Coach Osbourne had made unreasonable demands which caused the “professional separation”, adding it was “due to a breakdown in negotiations on a compensation package for the services that would be provided by Coach Osbourne”.
“The package proposed by the former coach, by any measure of what is the norm for such services, was extremely excessive and without any flexibility to negotiate by the other party. Collectively, we had no choice but to seek the services of another coach,” the widely circulated release stated.
Osbourne, who was part of the MVP Track & Field Club set-up and had coached at the high school level for a number of years, rubbished the reports and was quoted to have said she had refused what she described as “a garbage contract and had instead requested a 15 per cent fee”.