Paris Olympics 2024: Jamaican track star Elaine Thompson-Herah suffers injury, recovery timeline unclear



Four-time gold medalist sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah had to carried off the track Sunday after running a 100-meter heat, putting a question mark on her availability to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics in less than 50 days.

Thompson-Herah earned a total of six medals between Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, and this year she could have aimed for three-peats in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. However, everything seems up in the air at the moment.

This past weekend in New York, Thompson-Herah finished last in the 100m race with a time of 11.48 seconds, but something seemed off when she sat down and took off her right shoe at the conclusion of the race. Soon after, she had to be carried off from the track. 

“I felt something uncomfortable as I began to push I still tried to go but it got worse,” Thompson-Herah wrote on Instagram. “I am awaiting professional advice moving forward.”

Thompson-Herah has the second-fastest 100-meter time in women’s running history, a 10.54 she set during the Prefontaine Classic in 2021. However, her journey to Paris had already seen some struggles. She missed a significant amount of time in 2023 due to injuries, and she was still clearly finding her rhythm this season as she finished ninth at the Prefontaine Classic with a 11.30. 

If she misses the Olympics this summer, there are still other top runners that will be making noise at the 100-meter event. One of the favorites to win gold is current world champion American Sha’Carri Richardson, who has a personal best of 10.65 and will be making her Olympic debut. Richardson won the Prefontaine Classic last month in 10.83 seconds, the third fastest women’s time in 2024 so far.

Despite an impressive resume, Richardson’s spot is not guaranteed yet and she does have some tough competition. Jacious Sears from the University of Tennessee registered the fastest women’s time of 2024 at 10.77 seconds at the Tom Jones Memorial in April. That time was just .02 from the collegiate record Richardson set in 2019 while running for LSU. The U.S. Olympic trials for track and field will take place in Oregon from June 21-30.

The second top time this season belongs to Julien Alfred from Saint Lucian. She registered a time of 10.78 at the Racers Grand Prix, and she has a chance to secure her country’s first ever Olympic medal. 

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has not ran the 100m in 2024 yet, but she could be another top contender in Paris before she officially retires. The 37-year-old’s legendary career includes becoming the first 100-meter sprinter to win individual medals in four consecutive Olympic Games. She holds the third-best time in women’s 100m history with a personal best of 10.60 seconds.





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