Mandeville Weekly News

Elaine Thompson An Example To Jamaican Youth Of The Power Of Perseverance And Faith – Peter Bunting

Posted by SR (riley) on Aug 30 2016 at 6:35 PM
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 It was with great pride and joy that I viewed the emphatic victory in the Olympic women’s 100 metres final of Elaine “Vinnette” Thompson along with her family,  friends and neighbours in Banana Ground, Manchester on Saturday, August 13th.  That pride and joy overflowed when she went on to win the Gold Medal in the  200 metres on Wednesday, August 17th.

 Vinnette’s success in Rio de Janero is a testament to the power of dedication and hard work in achieving one’s goals in life.  Her statement when she left Banana  Ground to attend UTECH on a track scholarship that she would make it with “her foot” is poignant as it speaks to her determination to succeed and help her family.  Just look at her now! She has won the ultimate prize in athletics, the 100 metres Olympic crown!
 I am told that while attending Manchester High, Elaine’s biggest achievement was a fourth-place finish in the Class Two 100m at Boys and Girls Champs in 12.01  seconds. 

 It took the keen eye and faith of UTech coach Paul Francis, brother of the famed MVP Track Club founder Stephen Francis, who intervened to give her a track  scholarship in 2012 despite her less than spectacular success at Champs.

That was the start of her amazing transformation as in her first year at UTech, Thompson was consistently running in the 11.8-seconds bracket in the 100 metres, further lowered to 11.41 in 2013.  In her third year, under the tutelage of the Francis brothers, she improved her time to 11.19 seconds in 2014.

On April 1, 2015, Elaine captured the Intercollegiate 100m crown in a record 11.09 seconds, running into a headwind of -1.1 m/s. Only 11 days later, she won the UTech Classic in a world-leading 10.92 seconds.

Elaine Thompson then announced herself to the world in 2015, culminating in a spectacular 200-metre silver medal at the Beijing World Championships with the fifth-fastest time ever over the distance. Since then she has become a leading sprinter on the elite Diamond League circuit.

This is what hard work, faith in God and dedication can do.  All Jamaica is proud of Elaine “Vinnette” Thompson. I express thanks to her parents, her mother Rose Richards and father Keith Thompson, her grandmother Hyacinth Ricketts and the community of Banana Ground, as I join with a proud nation in saluting her and wishing her every  success for her future track career.