Thompson-Herah blitzes field at Doha Diamond League

By Sports Desk September 25, 2020

Reigning Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah kept up a recent run of good form, with another brilliant performance, this time at the Doha Diamond League meet on Friday.

Thompson-Herah blitzed a field that included World Championship silver-medalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, to stop the clock at 10.87 seconds.  Although slightly slower than the 10.85 recorded in Rome last week, it maintained an impressive run of form for the sprinter.  The time was the fifth sub-11 mark for the athlete this season.

The Jamaican, whose 10.85 seconds is the fastest time in the world this season, also owns four of the top six times in the world with compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce having the second and third best times.

The athlete, who has been plagued by Achilles issues in recent years, had a fair start before seizing control of the field before the midway point of the race and later pulling clear down the stretch.  Talou was a distant second behind Thompson, stopping the clock at 11.21, with American Kayla White finishing third in 11.25.

In the men’s 200m, Julian Forte ran a season's best 20.39 seconds to place second in the men's 200m.  The race was won by the Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse who ran a new national record 20.33 seconds, France's Christophe Lemaitre was third in 20.68 seconds.

 

 

  

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    “To win the Cliff Harper Award for the second time was definitely a good feeling. After my performance on Thursday, I was definitely down, I was definitely embarrassed, I was definitely upset but it’s all about the comeback. It’s all about how you come back from a terrible performance,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

    “We are all human. We are all going to have those days as athletes but I was very proud of myself. This is my first time winning two gold medals at SECs and I was so happy to be able to put up 23 points. It’s reassuring knowing my team can rely on me and I know I can rely on myself to come back from devastating situations.”

    Expected to do well in the pentathlon, after scoring a personal best 4612 points at the Texas Tech Invitational on January 29, things could not have gone worse for the 22-year-old Trinidadian in her efforts to defend the title she won in 2020.

    The worst of those performances came in the long jump where she only managed to register a mark of 4.11m, well below her season-best of 6.62m.

    She was forced to settle for sixth place, her score of 3818 points, a massive 703 shy of the 4501 scored by the newly crowned 2021 champion, Anna Hall of Georgia.

    Despondent and embarrassed by her poor showing, Gittens turned to family for refuge.

    “After talking to my family and talking to my sister, she played college volleyball, and she said anytime a negative thought would come in she would grab the thought and just throw it away and all of last night (Thursday) that is what I was doing,” she revealed.

    “I wouldn’t even let it linger. As soon as I felt some negativity, I just grabbed it and threw it away and it worked because today (Friday) it was only positive and negative Tyra was out of sight.”

    It worked.

    Within an hour late Friday, Gittens won two gold medals for Texas A&M. First, cleared 1.89m – just shy of her personal best 1.91m - in the high jump to defeat LSU’s Abigail O’Donohogue and avenge her pentathlon loss to Hall, who were second and third, respectively, each having cleared 1.86m.

    She then equalled her personal best (6.62m) to win the long jump ahead of LSU’s Aliyah Whisby (6.61m) and Georgia’s Titiana Marsh (6.39m).

    “Today (Friday) was all about beating myself because yesterday I let the negative Tyra, the bad Tyra that we don’t like to see, overtake,” said an elated Gittens afterwards.

    “I let her win yesterday and today (Friday) I relaxed, I had fun. I did everything that I wanted to do with executing and I cannot be happier. I am exhausted, but I am so proud of myself, and I am very happy.”

    The comeback completed, redemption comes next and that will be the point of her focus over the next two weeks.

    “These two weeks are going to be very important. I have a lot to work on,” she said. “I am going to use it to train and just get consistent and I am coming for the NCAA record.”

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