CHAMPION: Elaine Thompson on the track
ELAINE THOMPSON has her eyes on breaking new ground for Jamaican female sprinting this year by registering a time below 10:70 seconds in the 100m and judging by her recent indoor win at the Birmingham Grand Prix last weekend, anything is possible.
Thompson, 24, is coy yet confident when she sits in front of the world’s media in Birmingham. The Olympic 100m and 200m champion is conscious of the fact the she is yet to become a household name in the world of track and field despite her amazing endeavours in Rio last year, but the new queen of sprinting has plotted a way in which even the lay person will soon have to sit up and take note.
Talking to The Voice, the Banana Ground-born athlete said:
“A lot of people don’t know who Elaine is. When I go out people will be looking and trying to work out if it’s me or not,” Thompson admitted.
“The recognition is not out there as yet so I am trying to do as much as I can in terms of hosting events and being active on social media so that people can get to know me better.
“The people that tend to recognise me are children because they are quick. But older people think I change my style too often and I look different in person than I do on television.”
MODEST: Elaine Thompson
Looking at targets for the year Thompson, who's personal best time over 100m is 10.70s, aims to do something that only three American women have managed to achieve.
“This year, based on experiences I’ve had I’ve set myself a target of trying to break the 10.70s barrier and I am really working hard towards that.
“Track and field is not easy, going for world records is not easy, I have to put in more training, you have to put in a lot.
“I am willing to put in the work this year to see how fast I can go. As long as I break 10.70s I’ll move along from there.”
You can tell that the world is still sleeping on Thompson and her all around amazing-ness by a quick look at her social networking numbers.
However, eager to earn her stripes (if winning the sprint double at an Olympic Games wasn’t enough) Thompson paid homage to those that have come before her, identifying them as people that have and continue to inspire her.
READY TO GO: Elaine Thompson in Birmingham this month
“When I was growing up I normally watched Merlene Ottey, then Veronica Campbell-Brown and then Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. They were like the trendsetters for me,” Thompson said.
“For me to be in that line of athletes is a good feeling. But I’m also looking for someone else to come up as well. It’s a history that we have created, I don’t know how it happened but it’s a history that we will continue to maintain.”
Away from sport Thompson cited her grandmother as being Olympian vows to make the world know her name an immense mentor, motivator and supporter of everything she is today.
“Outside of track and field my grandmother grew me from when I was small. She always calls me to tell me to continue to stay focused and always pray.”
Reflecting on her life since she returned from Brazil with three Olympic medals in hand, Thompson said:
“My life has changed because I have a lot of responsibilities, I’m a role model to people in my country, especially the kids.
“But I am just the same Elaine, nothing has changed about me except for the lifestyle.”
Watch Elaine Thompson speak with The Voice after breaking records in Birmingham, below:
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