AFTER copping the World Athletics Female Sports Award last year, Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion Elaine Thompson Herah is up for another major award.
She is one of three track and field athletes nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award, World Athletics confirmed on its website yesterday. The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award honouring individuals and teams from the world of sports. Thompson Herah is joined by 400m runner Allyson Felix of the United States and marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.
Thompson Herah was nominated for the female award following her outstanding triple gold medal-winning performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She won the 100m and 200m and was a member of the winning 4x100m relay team. Felix’s is among those for the award after reaching a record tally of 11 medals in athletics at the Olympics following her 400m bronze and 4x400m gold medal in Tokyo. Other female nominees include swimmers Emma McKeon of Australia and American Katie Ledecky, tennis player Ashleigh Barty of Australia, and Spanish footballer Alexia Putellas.
Thompson Herah who is also the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation’s National Sportswoman of the Year for 2021, will be hoping to become the second Jamaican to capture this award following the legendary Usain Bolt, who copped the award on four occasions – in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017. She will also be hoping to become the third female track and field athlete to win the award, following Marion Jones of the United States and Cathy Freeman of Australia, who won in the first two years of the award, in 2000 and 2001.
Athletics legend and Laureus Academy member Michael Johnson of the United States, lauded Thompson Herah on her latest recognition. “She is an athlete who just completely dominated the sport last year,” said Johnson, according to the World Athletics website. Johnson stated that Thompson Herah, who won the 100-200m double at successive Olympic Games, did something which is very difficult to do, while she is threatening one of the oldest and most impressive world records in the books, the women’s 100m record (10.49 seconds) held since 1988 by American Florence Griffith-Joyner. Joining Kipchoge are American NFL player Tom Brady, Bayern Munich footballer Robert Lewandowski of Poland, Belgian-Dutch Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, and American swimmer Caleb Dressel.
Tennis player Serena Williams of the United States, who won the award in 2003, 2010, 2016 and 2018, leads the way among females. On the male side, another tennis player, Roger Federer of Switzerland, has been the most successful. He has won the award on five occasions – 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2018. Meanwhile, golf great Tiger Woods won in the first two years, 2000 and 2001.