(Jamaica Observer) After a smashing season last year, just the thought of Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson getting better must be frightening for her rivals, to say the least.
Thompson, who swept the 100m and the 200m at the Rio Olympics in 10.71 and 21.78 seconds, respectively, believes she is the one to beat.
“As a double Olympic gold medallist, I would say yes (I am the one to beat); I have a slight advantage over others,” said the 24-year-old, after officially being introduced as the new FLOW brand ambassador on Sunday.
“But I mean everybody is training, everybody wants to win and I will have to work hard. Not because I am Olympic champion doesn’t mean I am going to have an advantage. So I will just have to maintain my focus and composure and continue to be on top,” she added.
Thompson, who was a relatively unknown athlete in 2013, showed remarkably improvement and lowered her 100m personal best from 11.41 to 10.70 seconds in just three years, believes there is more in the tank.
“I think I have improved and there is more room for improvement,” said Thompson, who opened her season clocking 7.02 seconds over the 60m outdoor at the Queens/Grace Jackson meet on January 28. Her previous best was 7.04 seconds, a clear sign that she is ahead of where she was last year this time.
“I am feeling good and the training is going well so far. My main focus is to put in the training and just go out there and perform as the best I can,” she noted.
Last year, Thompson was voted Jamaica’s Sportswoman of the Year for the first time after destroying a quality field to win the 100m at the Rio Olympic by a widening 0.12 margin, clocking a splendid 10.71.
She then got sweet revenge in the 200m outlasting her 2015 World Championships conqueror Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, winning in 21.78 seconds and became the first woman to cop the Olympic double in 28 years after American world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.
Thompson is expecting to be at her best at the London World Championships in August.
“When I go out there to compete, I go to compete, and every year is a learning experience. Beijing was an experience, the Olympics was an experience and coming forward at this year’s World Championships, I wouldn’t say I have more confidence going into the World Championships,” a confident Thompson pointed out.
But before the London World Championships, Thompson has her eyes on making her debut at the World Relays in The Bahamas April 22-23.
“I am looking forward to the World Relays. I have never been there before and I am looking forward to this year because I know when team Jamaica steps out there, we are going to perform and I am looking forward to be on those relays this year,” said Thompson, with a gleam in her eyes.
“The World Relays seem more excited than others and I am looking forward to be in Bahamas,” she added.