'I am a little bit tired!'
Thompson-Herah admits fatigue setting in as she looks to Paris; weary Shelly pulls outSaturday, August 28, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman alive, will hope to get back to winning ways in the women's 100m at today's Paris Diamond League meet at Charléty stadium, her third race in eight days on either side of the Pacific Ocean.
Thompson-Herah's eight-race winning streak was broken on Thursday when she lost to compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Lausanne, Switzerland, but the latter will not line up today, withdrawing from the race yesterday citing fatigue.
Thompson-Herah, the two-time Olympic Games double sprint medallist, also admitted the long season and hectic travel was starting to take a toll, but added at a press conference in Paris yesterday she was doing her best to cope.
The two former training partners, Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce, who were supposed to have met for the third time in eight days, have pushed each other in a series of epic contests — in the Olympic final in Tokyo, Japan, the two Diamond League meets, in Eugene, Oregon last Saturday and in Lausanne on Thursday.
Their clashes resulted in some of the fastest times ever — one sub-10.60 seconds, two sub-10.70s seconds and one sub-10.80 seconds, mind-bending speed which has never been seen before.
Twelve Jamaicans are down to take part in the meet today, including four others who won individual medals at the Olympics. They are gold medallist Hansle Parchment and bronze medallists Ronald Levy, Shericka Jackson and Megan Tapper.
Despite the absence of Fraser-Pryce, a fourth-straight Jamaican 1-2-3 is theoretically still on the cards with Shericka Jackson, who has been third in all three races that the Jamaicans have swept the podium places, and relay gold medallist Natasha Morrison.
Thompson-Herah, who ran a world-leading and national record 10.54 seconds in Eugene, but finished second to the 'Mommy Rocket' on Thursday, was not aware her main rival this season would not be at the starting line.
“Honestly, I am a little bit tired, just got some naps since I got here and hopefully by tomorrow (today) I will get some more energy and after that I will get more rest when I get back to Italy (the MVP base in Europe),” said Thompson-Herah. “I am here and will take it race by race and see what I get from this meet.”
She was not complaining, pointing out “it's a part of my job”.
“It's how I have trained myself not to think about the tiredness and all the travelling... most of my nights at the Olympics were sleepless and I could not sleep the night after the 100m final, but I had to find the energy to go out and run two rounds of the 200m the next day, so I guess I was just blessed to go through all the rounds.
“But we [athletes] train our minds and bodies to do that because that is what we do, it's our job so it comes natural.”
Thompson-Herah said the temperature in Lausanne “was very cold for me”.
“It was my first time competing in cool conditions this year, but I am grateful for the time [that I ran] and all that I have accompished so far — I doubled at the Olympics and it took a lot out of my body and to come back yesterday (Thursday) and get a 10.6, even though I did not win, was amazing for me,” she noted.
While admitting that her start was not as good as she would have liked it to be, Thompson-Herah said the race from start to finish was satisfactory.
“My stregnth is pretty much everything put together... I am not a great starter but I am working on that,” she explained.
“I think I have a beautiful top end, but I don't take that as an advatage in a race, not because I always finish strong when I start slow. Last night I did not get the start that I wanted, nevertheless I still finished strong.”
Jackson has also been running fast with a string of sub-11.00 seconds times and should retain her top three position, but the absence of Fraser-Pryce will open up the door for Morrison who has a season best 10.87 seconds. There is also the Great Britain pair of Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita and Switzerland's Mujinga Kambundji to contend with.
After a ragged race on Thursday, his first since winning the gold medal at the Olympics, Parchment will hope for a much smoother passage today, but will face two of the top three from Lausanne — American Devon Allen and France's Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who was third.
Levy, who was fourth on Thursday, will also be hoping to move up in the placings, while Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain and Daniel Roberts of the US, will also hope for top- three finishes.
Olympic bronze medallist Tapper will face a tough field in the 100m hurdles which also features fellow Jamaicans Britany Anderson and Danielle Williams. Also in the mix are Olympic finalists Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, Nadine Visser of Holland and Gabrielle Cunningham of the USA.
Janieve Russell will be the only jamaican in the women's 400m hurdes where she will face American Shamier Little, Gianna Woodruff of Panama and Anna Ryzhykova of Ukraine.
Candice McLeod will hope to improve on her fifth place from Thursday in the women's 400m, while Julian Forte and Nigel Ellis will contest the men's 100m which is not part of the Diamond League programme.