Thompson could break Ottey's record
WORLD Championships 200 metres silver medallist, Elaine Thompson may soon break Merlene Ottey's national 200m record.
That's the view held by three-time Olympic sprinter, Vilma Charlton, who pinpointed Thompson as a bright prospect in June.
In the weeks that followed, the 23-year-old Thompson became Jamaican 200m champion and the winner of the silver medal at the recent International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, China. Charlton doesn't think the record will withstand Thompson's speed much longer.
Thompson, a student-athlete at the University of Technology (UTech), was runner-up at the World 200 metre final in 21.66 seconds. That was just 200ths of a second off Ottey's 1991 national record of 21.64.
Charlton, now a vice president of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), believes Ottey's 24-year-old record won't last much longer.
"It will go in a very short time," she asserted earlier this week.
"No doubt," she insisted.
The 21.66 is the joint-second fastest 200-metre time by a Jamaican as Ottey had a similar time as national record in 1990.
Charlton thinks Thompson has scope for improvement. "With a lot more experience, I think she will do extremely well," said the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic sprinter.
"If she learns to finish races, and to run the curve even better," said Charlton, "she will definitely go places."
Continuing, she expressed hope that Thompson willremain focused despite athlete movements at UTech-based MVP Track Club where she trains.
"The other things that are happening around her can be unsettling what with some of the athletes going here and there," Charlton said.
"If she remains focused, and I hope someone can continue to talk to her, because it's not all about training," she said.
"You need the mind to be in good condition as well."
According to the former sprinter, the emergence of the unheralded Thompson is a positive development.