Lion-hearted

Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is still battling the Achilles heel problem that has hindered her performances, but she soldiers on.

“I have a heart of a lion and a champion and I love to compete in front of my home crowd,” said the Banana Ground native from Manchester.

The 25-year-old, who dominated the sprints, culminating with her becoming the first woman in 28 years to capture gold in the 100m and 200m at the same Olympic in 2016, has lost that air of invincibility because of the niggling injury.

But despite the pain, the former Manchester High runner delivered at the Jamaica International Invitational meet, winning the 100m in 11.06 seconds (-0.3 mps) on Saturday.

“The pain we endure today is the strength we show tomorrow,” she tweeted.

Thompson, running from lane four, was left behind by Christania Williams and veteran Kerron Stewart at the 40-metre mark, but turned on the afterburners for a fairly easy victory. Stewart was second in 11.25s with Natasha Morrison third in 11.26s. Williams ended fourth in 11.35.

“Honestly, I am pleased (though) I have been battling Achilles heel injury. It is the left foot, but it’s not leaving,” said Thompson.

“It is difficult to push from the blocks, but after acceleration I try to pick up and run from there. The start is not great now, but I am still working on it,” she explained.

“The acceleration from the start from the blocks just a little bit rough, but I am coping,” Thompson added.

Thompson’s Achilles heel injury has been so bad that last year she couldn’t compete in her usual spikes and ran in sneakers and remarkably won the London Diamond League in 10.94 seconds.

Thompson was fourth at the Commonwealth Games in the 200m behind Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who set a Games record 22.09 seconds. Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson was second with 22.18 seconds with England’s Dina Asher-Smith secured bronze in 22.29 seconds. Thompson, just missed a medal in fourth in 22.30 seconds.

On May 4 at the Doha Diamond League, Thompson finished third in the 100m in a season’s best 10.93, but withdrew from the Shanghai Diamond League in what the organisers said in a release was a precautionary measure as she was dealing with physical issues.

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