Elaine Thompson-Herah named ‘Athlete of the Year’ by NACAC

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The 29-year-old Jamaican who truly captured the public imagination.

Thompson-Herah, the Rio 2016 double women’s sprint champion turned in a performance for the ages in 2021. Within the span of just over three weeks, between the end of July and late August, she won two individual gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61 seconds and she clocked 21.53s to win the 200m four days later. The time was a national record and the second-fastest time in history. She capped off her Olympic performance with another gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that set a national record of 41.02s.

Shortly after, at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, Thompson-Herah stamped her class with a run of 10.54 seconds, a new national record, and, like her 200m Olympic time, the fastest time in the world since Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record of 21.34s set back in 1988.

Elaine Thompson-Herah reacting to her blistering 10.54s run in the women’s 100m event at the Nike Prefonatine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, August 21. (Photo: Cortney White for Instagram @NikeRunning)

Thompson-Herah would go on to take her third Diamond League title, winning the women’s 100m final in Zürich with a time of 10.65s seconds.

Only five women this century have ended a season with the fastest times in both the 100m and 200m. Coming into the season, four of those five women were Jamaican. And this season, Thompson-Herah became the first woman ever to repeat that feat following her 2016 success.

Thompson-Herah has now run faster than 10.80s 15 times. Only her compatriot, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, has more.

Thompson-Herah, however, is the queen of sub-10.70s runs, with four, more even than Flo Jo. As a point of fact, Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, the podium in the Tokyo women’s 100m, have between, run 34 times under 11 seconds in 2021.