The Star (Jamaica)
‘It is within reach’
That was a big part of the talk at yesterday’s press conference in Lausanne. Thompson-Herah, who ran 10.54 seconds on Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, and fellow Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann FraserPryce admitted that the world record that was set 31 years ago by American Florence Griffith-Joyner, popularly known as Flo Jo, is now within reach.
It is a situation in which so much has changed so quickly. When Griffith-Joyner stormed to a world record run of 10.49 seconds to win the women’s 100 metres at the United States Trials in 1988, many thought this record was out of reach. Since the Tokyo Olympic Games, however, this argument has changed dramatically, as
Olympic record 1:03 p.m.: Women’s 400m - Candice McLeod 1:40 p.m.: Men’s 110m H - Rasheed Broadbell,
Ronald Levy, Hansle Parchment
1:45 p.m.: Women’s triple jump - Kimberly
Williams, Shanieka Ricketts
2:07 p.m.: Women’s 100m - Elaine ThompsonHerah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson
2:18 p.m.: Women’s 400m H- Leah Nugent,
Janieve Russell when in the final, clocking 10.61 seconds, a new personal best.
Five days ago in Eugene, Oregon, Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo Olympics sprint double champion, lowered that mark after scorching the track for a remarkable new personal best of 10.54 seconds on the way to completing an easy victory.
In the process, Thompson-Herah recorded the secondfastest time over the 100 metres event by a female, which is just five-hundredths of a second outside the world record.
“It is within reach. A few years ago when I was asked this question, my answer was ‘no’; but after running 10.54 seconds this is within reach, as anything is possible,” said Thompson-Herah.
“Going to the Prefontaine Classic, it was not about a world record for me, as it was just another normal day’s work for me and I ended with a PB and a world-leading time. With perfect conditions, I think I can challenge the world record. But if it does not happen now I will wait,” Thompson-Herah said.
Fraser-Pryce said much has evolved, which now makes the world record a realistic goal.
When asked if she could break the world record, Fraser-Pryce said: “Elaine is much closer than I, and I think it is possible, as the evolution of sprinting and what mechanics can do has caused changes; and to be in that conversation about challenging a world record is really remarkable,” she said.
“(The) Lausanne track is a good one and I think the ladies will have a superb race, and, definitely, I have not run my best race as yet, and I am still working on different phases of the race and I am hoping to put it together,” Fraser-Pryce alluded.
All told, 11 Jamaicans are down to compete at the meet, including Olympic men’s 110 metres hurdles gold medallist Hansle Parchment, who will be competing in his first Diamond League meet in over two years. Parchment will line up against countrymen Ronald Levy, the bronze medallist in Tokyo, and Rasheed Broadbell, who recorded victory in Hungary two days ago.
Jamaica’s female triple jump duo of Shanieka Ricketts and Kimberly Williams, finalists at the Olympic Games, will take on gold medallist and world record holder Yulimer Rojas of Venezuela in the event, while female 400 metres hurdlers Janieve Russell and Leah Nugent will be hoping for better results in the event following fifth- and eighthplaced finishes in Eugene. Olympic Games silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad and countrywoman Shamier Little will be hoping for another 1-2 finish like they did in Eugene five days ago, with Jamaica’s Olympic Games women’s 400 metres finalist Candice McLeod set to make her first Diamond League appearance.
She will be the first Jamaican on show, with her event set to begin at 1:03 p.m.