Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah is currently the fastest woman alive with a record of 10.54 that was set last week at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference today, ahead of the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday (August 26), Thompson Herah said “To come back with a personal best after the championships, that is amazing. I haven’t run that fast in five years. It means a lot to me… because my job is to inspire a generation.”
She added, “I have more races, so I don’t get too excited, too carried away. I have to continue doing the job.”
However many Jamaicans and sports fans all over the world are looking for her to beat Florence Griffith Joyner’s 100m world record of 10.49, which was set in 1988.
“It is in my reach. On a perfect day, and perfect weather if I get that, I would definitely challenge it,” Elaine said.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was also at the press conference, said “Elaine is much much closer than I am, it’s good to be able to challenge a record that for women for a long time we thought was impossible and its speaks to the evolution of sprinting and what mechanics can do to sprinting and the different things that’s involved in sprinting”.
Fraser-Pryce, who ran a personal best of 10.63 at a Kingston meet for the Olympic trails, said she was pleased to be in contention and believed she could go faster. “For me I definitely have not ran my best race as yet and I’m still working on different phases of the races and hopefully I’ll be able to put that together,” said.
Meanwhile, Thompson-Herah said she was inspired by the late American track star.
“I’ve normally watched her races and I see how her mechanics were good, how she ran her races were so easy and smooth so I try to do pretty much the same as how she do,” she said. “She is a good inspiration to the sport. And a few years ago the question was thrown to me if I can break that record and ‘I was like no it’s not possible, my eyes is not on that right now.’ And for me to run a 10.54, that is definitely in the reach.”
Thompson-Herah continued, “I wouldn’t say it’s not a target right now. On a perfect day and the perfect weather, if I get that I would definitely challenge it but if it doesn’t happen this season, hopefully I’m pretty close and there is more work to go that target”.
Going into the Olympics, many were speculating that it was Shelly-Ann who would have been the world leader in sprinting this year as she was doing the faster times at the Jamaican track trials. Thompson-Herah however delivered a show-stopping victory in both the 100m and 200m with Shelly-Ann coming second and Shericka Jackson coming third.
Shelly-Ann added, “its truly remarkable, I know Lausanne has a very good track, I ran 10.7 here in 2019 after coming off a plane so I know it’s a very good track so hopefully tomorrow the ladies will have a superb race”.
The moderator asked Elaine, “It seems like the women’s sprint is coming out of the shadows of the men’s sprint. You are now in the spotlight more than men maybe, more than before”.
She responded, “it’s amazing to be a part of the sprint event and to be the most talked-about this season so it’s a wonderful feeling”.
The two will be competing tomorrow at the Lausanne Diamond League in Switzerland at 4:07 EST, along with 6 other Jamaican athletes: