EUGENE, Oregon— Its official. Fastest woman alive Elaine Thompson-Herah has signed a professional contract with global sports brand Puma, the Jamaican sprinter jumping ship from American company Nike with whom she has been associated with her entire career.
Thompson-Herah gave a hint of what was to come earlier this week when she wore Puma branded shoes and outfit as she left Kingston for Eugene for the World Athletics Championships.
“We are thrilled that Elaine has chosen to join the PUMA family,” said PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden in a statement released by the company on Thursday.
“With her speed she embodies everything we stand for as a brand. Elaine ran the second-fastest time in women's history last year and is only 0.05 seconds off a world record. She really targets the 100-meter world record and we want to help her achieve that goal with our most innovative performance products,” Gulden said.
The release also quoted Thompson-Herah as saying, “PUMA just felt like the right fit, a company that has been working with the world’s fastest man for decades, I’m excited to be part of such an elite group and can’t wait to get started. I really want to break the 100-meter world record. The current one has been undefeated for 34 years. Now is the time. I think there's still a lot I can unleash."
Thompson-Herah is the first woman in history to win the "sprint double" at consecutive Olympics, capturing gold in both the 100 metre and 200 metre at the 2016 Rio Olympics and again at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
She became the fastest woman alive when she ran 10.54 seconds at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, USA, in 2021.
-Paul A Reid