Thompson Herah named World Athletics’ Female Athlete of the Year

Elaine Thompson Herah
Elaine Thompson Herah following her win of Female Athlete of the Year (Photo credit: Twitter (@FastElaine))

Jamaican sprint queen and track star Elaine Thompson Herah wrapped up a successful season by winning the Female World Athlete of the Year Award at the World Athletics Awards held on Wednesday.

This year, Thompson Herah produced an unforgettable record-breaking season, becoming the first female athlete to defend her Olympic 100m and 200m titles at consecutive Olympic Games and copping gold in the women’s 4X100m relays.

Adding to her triple gold medal achievement, the 29-year-old clocked world-leading times of 10.54s and 21.53s over the 100m and 200m respectively, jumping to second on the world all-time lists and in touching distance of the controversial longstanding world records.

After being nominated for the third time, the double Olympic champion finally earned the prestigious award for the first time. Nominated also was Olympic 800m and 4x400m champion Athing Mu from the USA, who was named Female Rising Star of the Year.

To round off the list were Olympic 400m hurdles champion Femke Bol, Olympic 100m hurdles champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan, Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, World and Olympic 400m hurdles champion Sydney McLaughlin, and Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

Thompson Herah firmly sets her sights on breaking the 100m and 200m world records, and she is not planning on retiring anytime soon. “I just take it year by year. I went very close to the world record, so you know, anything is possible. No spikes hanging up any time soon!” she said.

With the World Championships set to begin next summer, Thompson Herah is looking forward to seeing her family and supporters in the stands cheering her on to win her next world title.

“The World Championships in Oregon is most definitely my next big target, it is close to home, I hope friends and family can come out and watch. I hope I get some crowd as well. That couldn’t happen in Tokyo but, hopefully, in Eugene, I can get my friends and family to come and cheer me on,” she said.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe commended all the winners and finalists on their remarkable accomplishments. “We have this year celebrated some jaw-dropping performances in Tokyo, at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi and through our one-day meeting circuits – the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour. So, we’re delighted to recognize some of our stars at tonight’s awards,” he said. “As a sport, we are in an incredibly strong position. 2021 has been an excellent year. We cemented our position as the number 1 Olympic sport coming out of Tokyo, we have the most God-given talented athletes on the planet and our sport is the most accessible of all sports. Thank you to all our athletes around the world. I am looking forward to watching what you can all do in 2022,” he continued.

Thompson Herah is the third Jamaican female athlete to win the award, following in the footsteps of Merlene Ottey and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell also won the prestigious award.

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