Sprint Queen Elaine Thompson Herah, says Shenseea’s Run Run was the song playing in her head as she raced her way to the 200 metres victory at the Tokyo Olympics, and cemented her name as one of the greatest female sprinters in history, this morning.
Thompson who became the first woman in Olympic history to win the 100m and 200m sprint double twice, was speaking during a post-race interview with Television Jamaica’s Spencer Darlington.
“I just continued to work, work, work,” she told the sports journalist in explaining how she prepared during the months leading up to the Olympics, before adding: “I was out there and I heard Shenseea song in my head just ‘run, run, run’ and I just keep on running until I reached the line.”
The Banna ground, Manchester native also broke the 30 year national record in a time of 21.53 seconds, the second-fastest in the history of the event.
Thompson-Herah, the 100m champion, also claimed gold over both distances in Rio de Janeiro five years ago. Usain Bolt is the only other male or female sprinter in history to win both titles at consecutive Games.
Thompson-Herah admitted her exploits on the track had left her in need of rest, having followed her 100m gold with a 200m run just 0.19 seconds short of Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 1988 world record.
“Honestly, I just need to sleep!” she told the BBC. “I have not slept since the 100 metres, honestly my body is in shock mode, but I still had my composure to come out here,” she added.
“I knew my time wouldn’t be fast because yesterday we ran two rounds, which took a lot from me, I equalled my PB last night. So to come out to get a national record and be two-time Olympic champion I am so happy… I was begging for the line, but you have to hold your technique through the line,” she added.
Thompson-Herah told the BBC that it felt good to be in Jamaica’s history books and to have set a bar for the next generation of her country’s athletes.
Thompson-Herah, in repeating the double she completed at Rio 2016 is now the first female athlete to defend each sprint title.
Only one athlete, her compatriot Usain Bolt, has ever done so. Bolt achieved the accolade of winning both races at three successive Olympics.
Thompson Herah came under the care of her grandmother Gloria when she was only seven months old, and although her family members have always said that she was “born to run”, she had a very interesting high school track history.
According to Olympics.com, the Manchester High School old girl, was far from being the most outstanding sprinter at her school and only placed fourth in the 100m at the Jamaican Boys and Girls Championships in 2009.
“Two years later she was dropped from her school’s track and field team altogether. She was then spotted by athletics coach Stephen Francis, the founder of the MVP Track Club and the man behind Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce’s successful career,” the Olympics noted.
“ Obtaining a scholarship to the University of Technology in Kingston, Thompson started to become the sprinter her family always believed she could be,” it added.