Jamaican Sprint Queen Thompson-Herah To Miss Olympics

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaica’s two-time Olympic women’s 100m and 200m champion, will not defend her titles at the Paris Games next month after failing to recuperate from an Achilles injury, the sprinter announced on Wednesday.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100m and 200m gold medals at both the 2016 and pandemic-delayed 2020 Olympics, confirmed her decision after withdrawing from this week’s Jamaican trials.

“I am hurt and devastated to be missing the Olympics this year but at the end of the day it’s sports and my health comes first,” Thompson-Herah, 31, wrote in a statement shared on social media.

Thompson-Herah had already abandoned her chance to defend her 200m title in Paris by declining to compete in the 200m at this week’s Jamaica trials in Kingston.

However, she had joined the trials for the 100m and hoped to run in Paris over the shorter distance.

Thompson-Herah’s fitness has been called into question ever since she ran in a race in New York earlier this month and had to be helped off the track due to a torn Achilles.

In her statement on Wednesday, Thompson-Herah stated that she knew the damage was significant right away.

“I sat on the ground because I couldn’t apply any pressure to the leg whatsoever as I was carried off the track,” Thompson-Herah wrote.

A medical examination later revealed a “small tear” of the Achilles tendon, she said.

“Funny enough I got back home with a strong mindset to keep pushing and prepare for my national trials another shot of my third Olympics but the leg wouldn’t allow me to,” she said.

‘A Long Road’

Thompson-Herah emphasized, however, that she intends to continue her running career despite her Olympic heartache.

“It’s a long road but I am willing to start over and keep working and to make a full recovery and resume my track career,” she told me.

Thompson-Herah has never won an individual sprint gold medal at a global championships, but she has sparkled on the Olympic stage.

Her 10.54-second personal best in the 100m, set in Eugene, Oregon in August 2021, is the second fastest time in history, trailing only Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 10.49-second world record from 1988.

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