Photo: A radiant Elaine Thompson flashes her trade mark smile at the launch of the Jamaica International Invitational Meet at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.
Some persons thought it was a missed opportunity for Jamaica’s newest sprint sensation Elaine Thompson, not to go after two individual medals in her World Championship debut in Beijing. China last year, after her management team had her running a single event at the games. A new track and field season is here and with the Olympic Games on the horizon, Thompson explained to Yardie Sports at the launch of the Jamaica International Invitational Meet last week that any attempt at the sprint double in 2016 rests solely with her coach Stephen Francis, the man who makes all the big decisions.
“Honestly that is a question everybody is asking, but that is not my decision to make. It’s still pretty early in the season, so hopefully down in the season, my coach will decide if I double or not,” she revealed.
It is early days yet for the new track and field season but she has faced the starter a few times already over 60m, both indoors and outdoors and Thompson expressed satisfaction at rate at which her season is progressing.
“Yes I am satisfied. I have raced a few times indoors and it’s been very satisfying. I am looking forward to the World Indoors Championships. The season has just started and I with the help of my coaches and training program I am hopeful for a faster season (than last year).”
Thompson explained that sharing the same training grounds and coach with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is more than just using the World and Olympic champion as a bench mark, but it’s really a drive and motivation for her to give of her best. The relationship between both athletes has been beneficial and allows for for healthy competition.
“It’s been five years together, so it's not so much a new thing to have one of the fastest woman as a training partner. She has however been a big motivation for me, but it’s a normal family relationship in training," Thompson explained.
In 2013, Thompson had hopes of one day doing great things in track and field but 2015 wasn’t the year she probably expected to be reaping the rewards of her hard work. The massive reduction in her personal best times in the sprints came as much as surprise to the 2015 National 200m champion as everyone else.
“I did surprise myself a few times last year. I ran a PR at the Utech Classics. Then I went on to the Oregon Meet and again I was surprised by my own performance. Even the 21.6 that I ran at the World Championships was pretty surprising,” she said, with a broad smile.
The University of Technology student had a very outstanding 2015, and looking back at her achievements, she is still amazed at how things transformed for her. She managed to win the silver medal in the 200m, before helping her team to secure the 4 x100m Gold medal in Beijing, China.
The time of 21.66 seconds makes her the second fastest Jamaican woman in history, behind veteran and trail blazer, Merlene Ottey, at 21.64 seconds.
“I am very proud of my achievements. Sometimes I look back and I am like wow. When I see the pictures, the stories, I am really happy and grateful for all I have achieved thus far and I am really looking to continue to do my best and I know more success will come,” she said reassuringly.
The indoor season is the precursor for the Olympic Games to be held in Rio, Brazil in August.