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There has been a great exodus in the sprint world lately, as a number of athletes have switched camps to work with different coaches.
The latest is Elaine Thompson-Herah. The 31-year-old moves to Reynaldo Walcott, who is fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s coach — the Pocket Rocket.
Thompson-Herah cited expensive coaching rates as the reason for the move away from coach Shanikie Osbourne, after just four months. For a short period of time, she was taking direction from her husband Derron, a former professional athlete.
Out of difficulties grow miracles. Happy Monday 😃— Elaine Thompson-Herah (@FastElaine) November 20, 2023
Thompson-Herah is a five-time Olympic gold medallist in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m events. She is also a five-time World Athletics Championships medallist. Twenty-nine times she has finished first in various Diamond League meets. Thompson-Herah holds three national records in the 100m (10.54), 4 x 100m and 4 x 200m.
Only American Florence Griffth-Joyner has run faster in the 100m event and only once with her world record of 10.49 from 1988. Third on the all-time list right behind Thompson-Herah is Fraser-Pryce with her 10.60 performance. Thompson-Herah holds seven of the top-30 performances in history. Fraser-Pryce has 14 — some of those performances are tied.
In the 200m distance, Thompson-Herah is the third-fastest all-time with the fifth-fastest time of 21.53. Only Shericka Jackson and Griffith-Joyner have run faster. Griffith-Joyner’s world record is 21.34 from the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
Fraser-Pryce, age 36, is a 16-time World Athletics Championships medallist, 10 of those are gold. She is an eight-time Olympic medallist, collecting three golds. The Pocket Rocket has won 25 Diamond League races. Like many sprinters, the two focus on three events, the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m.
Thompson-Herah is the first to achieve a double-double, winning the 100m and the 200m twice during two Olympic Games. She pulled it off in Rio in August 2016 and Tokyo 2020, which took place in July and August 2021.
So far, it has been a remarkable career for the kid who grew up in Banana Ground, Jamaica in abject poverty and was kicked off her first athletics team for disciplinary issues.