Elaine Thompson-Herah, five-time Olympic gold medalist, ruled out of Paris Games with Achilles injury

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah will miss Paris 2024 with an Achilles injury, she announced on social media.

The Jamaican sprinter, who is the two-time defending Olympic champion in both the 100m and 200m races, said scans showed she had suffered a “small tear on my Achilles tendon” after competing at the New York Grand Prix earlier this month and, as a result, she will not be attending next month’s Games.

“It’s a long road but I am willing to start over and keep working and to make full recovery and resume my track career,” the 31-year-old wrote. “I am hurt and devastated to be missing the Olympic this year but at the end of the day it’s sports and my health comes first.

“I will be definitely watching hopefully from the stands and cheer my country Jamaica on.”

Thompson-Herah exploded onto the track and field scene in 2016 when, then aged 24, she won gold in both the 100m and 200m at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. In doing so, she became the first woman to complete the Olympic sprint double since Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul 1988.

After a few years of injury worries, Thompson-Herah returned to the global stage at the Tokyo Games in 2021 where she retained her two gold medals – setting a new Olympic record of 10.61 seconds in the 100m – as well as winning gold in the 4x100m relay with Jamaica.

However, she has struggled once again with injuries this season.

Thompson-Herah – who turns 32 on Friday – finished last in the Prefontaine Classic last month with a time of 11.30, with one of her main rivals for Olympic gold, American Sha’Carri Richardson, finishing first.

Then, at the New York Grand Prix in June, she once again finished last with a time of 11.48. Afterwards, she had to be carried off the track because she “couldn’t apply any pressure to the leg whatsoever.”

“Funny enough I got back home with a strong mindset to keep pushing and prepare for my national trails another shot of my third Olympics but the leg wouldn’t allow me to.”

The women’s 100m competition in Paris begins on Friday, August 2, and finishes a day later. The 200m begins on Sunday, August 4, with the final on Tuesday, August 6.

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