‘I’ll be back!’
Thompson-Herah has no regrets, promises to get back to her best
Jamaican and Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thimpson-Herah (centre) cruises home to vctory in the heats of the women’s 100m at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on Tuesday. Also pictured are Wurrie Njadoe of Gambia and Kenya’s Maximillia Imali. Thompson-Herah won in a comfortable 10.99 seconds. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

BIRMINGHAM, England — Elaine Thompson-Herah says that despite recent disappointments at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, she has full confidence in her decisions taken ahead of the season and says she will work her way back to the top, after getting her Commonwealth Games campaign off to a strong start on Tuesday.

Thompson-Herah hardly broke a sweat as she cruised to a win in 10.99 seconds — the joint fastest time among qualifiers — in the heats of the women's 100m at Alexander Stadium.

Her performance was one of several positives for Jamaica in Birmingham on a day that belonged to Judo's Ebony Drysdale Daley, who won the island's first medal in the event at this level, taking silver in the women's 70kg division.

The Commonwealth Games presents an immediate and low-hanging opportunity for Thompson-Herah, the two-time Olympics double sprint champion and fastest woman alive in the 100m, to bounce back from — by her standards — a relatively underwhelming showing in Eugene.

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah competes in the heats of the women's 100m at 2022 Birmingham Commomwealth Games on Tuesday. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Her maiden World Championships 100m medal — a bronze won in a Jamaican sweep of the podium places in Eugene a few days ago — was followed by a shocking seventh-place finish in the 200m final and a somewhat pedestrian leg in Jamaica's 4x100m silver-medal showing, in a championship campaign that looked nothing like her all-conquering, triple gold showing in Tokyo last year, which was followed by a coaching change for the 30-year-old.

"The one thing you have to do is believe in yourself, because no one will believe in you and that's how I build my confidence because I do believe in myself and I know the team that I work with, they want the best for me, I know they believe in me," said Thompson-Herah, who is now coached by her husband Derron Herah.

"I have a strong and supportive team, things will happen in the best way and everything is going to come together at the right time. I know I really wanted to do well this year, but it's not on God's time yet…So whenever the timing comes together, I know everything will unleash. My history is in the books and that will never change and who I am will never change. Now I will work my way back to the top. After I put all the pieces together, I know I will be back on top," Thompson-Herah told the Jamaica Observer.

Thompson-Herah says she is excited to compete at the Commonwealth Games and was quite satisfied with her first-round run.

"After the World Championships we decided to come and do the Commonwealth and I am excited for this. Physically I'm feeling good. That run was pretty comfortable and relaxing and hopefully, I can just take that through the competition, execute and have fun."

Natalliah Whyte (11.31), who won her heat, and Remona Burchell (11.46), who was second in hers, are also safely through to the next round.

In the men's equivalent, Conroy Jones clocked 10.28 to win his heat while Kemar Bailey-Cole finished second in his qualifier with 10.15 to book their places in the next round, which will not feature Nigel Ellis, who leaned back at the line and was relegated to third place in 10.41 seconds in his heat, missing out on a spot in the semi-finals.

Shawn-D Thompson jumped 7.85m in men's long jump qualifying to advance to the final at 7:42 pm (1:42 pm) tomorrow with the joint fourth best-distance, while Danniel Thomas-Dodd, 18.42m, leads all qualifiers into the women's shot put final, which will have a second Jamaican involved after Lloydricria Cameron's 16.61m effort in qualifying.

Travis Smikle's 64.90m also topped the list of qualifiers into the men's discus final, with Roje Stona, 58.35m, also booking his spot in tomorrow's medal round at 8:35 pm (2:35 pm)

In the women's 800m, Natoya Goule clocked 1:58.39 to win her heat and progress to Saturday's final, while Jaheel Hyde clocked 49.60 in the men's 400m heats and will line up in the final, set for Saturday.

Hansle Parchment, 13.33, and Orlando Bennett, 13.40, finished one-two in the 110m hurdles heats and Rasheed Broadbell clocked a season-best 13.16 as all three Jamaicans made it through to the final, which is set for tomorrow at 9:44 pm (3:44 pm).

BY ANDRE LOWE Sports content manager lowea@jamaicaobserver.com

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