Thompson embracing new responsibility


December 03, 2016
Jamaica's Elaine Thompson celebrates after receiving the gold medal for the women's 200-metre during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo)


With several of the island's top female sprinters nearing the end of their careers, double sprint champion at this year's Olympic Games Elaine Thompson, says she feels an added sense of responsibility to continue Jamaica's sprinting success.

Thompson won gold medals in the 100m and 200m in Rio de Janeiro to pick up from the 200m bronze that she took home a year earlier at the World Championships in Beijing to shoot to the top of international female sprinting, making her the latest in a line of world-beating Jamaicans.

"Looking back at all the sprinters that we have had over the years - we have always dominated and so to be that upcoming person I do think I have a responsibility," Thompson told reporters ahead of last night's IAAF Athletics Awards here.


"Everybody wants to be Elaine and I know I have a lot to do and a lot to deliver. I am a motivation to the children, who I know are looking up to me so I know I have to be that person. Everyone was looking up to Shelly (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce) and Veronica (Campbell-Brown) and now they are looking up to me and so I know I have that responsibility," Thompson said.

The sprinter, who also topped the Diamond Race for the 100m title last season underlined that athletes like Fraser-Pryce and Campbell-Brown played a significant role in motivating her to push towards her athletics ambitions and is cognisant that her success will have a similar impact on those to come.

"I always wanted to do track and field and to make the Olympic team was also a big dream. I look up to so many athletes such as Veronica Campbell-Brown, Merlene Ottey, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and also being among so many talented people at the MVP Track Club, which has so many Olympic medalists there made me also want to be like them, to be hungry and it motivated me to work harder," Thompson said.

- A.L.

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