NACAC stunned by ANOC decision to name Canadian swimmer MacNeil best female Toyko 2020 athlete ahead of Jamaica’s Thompson-Herah

By Sports Desk November 13, 2021

North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) secretary Keith Vincent says the association expressed shock at the decision of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) to award Canada’s Maggie MacNeil the best female athlete of Tokyo 2020 ahead of Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The 29-year-old Thompson-Herah became the first female sprinter in history to claim the Olympic sprint double twice after emphatic victories in the 100 and 200m metres.  In Tokyo, Thompson’s winning time of 10.61 was the second-fastest ever recorded over the event and eclipsed the 33-year-old Olympic record held by the United States’ Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Her dominant 21.53 win in the 200m, not only decimated the rest of a quality field but was also the second-fastest time in history, bettered by only Griffith Joyner's world record of 21.34, set in 1988.  Thompson-Herah went on to add a third gold medal with the Jamaica team in the women’s 4x100m relays.

The Canadian MacNeil also won three medals in Tokyo, which included a memorable victory in the women’s 100m butterfly event where she came back from seventh place at the halfway mark to eventually win gold.  The 21-year-old also claimed a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle and bronze in the 4x100m medley.

“NACAC has expressed its disappointment with the results of the Award from the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) for Best Female Athlete at the Tokyo Olympics held earlier this year,” Vincent, who is also general secretary of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Olympic Committee,” wrote in NACAC’s weekly bulletin.

"For the several NACAC member countries in attendance at the Awards Ceremony held on the evening of Sunday, 24 October, in the city of Heraklion on the Island of Crete, Greece, it came as a shock that Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson was not the eventual winner.”

Thompson-Herah who was voted as NACAC’s Female Athlete of the Year last week is among the favourites for the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year award.

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    Despite the lack of success in recent seasons, however, Blake is feeling confident of a late-career revival this season, on the back of a decent showing at the Birmingham Diamond League last week.  The Jamaican finished second in the men's 100m, clocking 10.18 behind Canadian Aaron Brown who took top spot in 10.13.

    “I think I took it too easy at the end and didn't see the guy in lane 8. I was focused forward. It was challenging because it was cold. The two false starts were tough but I am used to dealing with these things. I am feeling good after coming back. I want to stay hard to beat and move from being second fastest in the world to be fastest,” Blake said following the race.

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    Though pleased with her ‘workout' at the National Stadium in Kingston last Saturday, Derron Herah, coach and husband of Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah believes the next six weeks of preparation will be crucial.

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    Thompson-Herah is down to compete at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, May 28. She lines up against some of the fastest women in the world including Dina Asher-Smith, World 60m champion, Mujinga Kambundji, Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams, Shericka Jackson, Marie Jose Ta Lou and Twanisha Terry.

     

     

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