Eight-time Olympic medalist Veronica Campbell Brown is beaming with pride at the accomplishment of her compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Thompson-Herah made history on Tuesday at the Tokyo Olympics when she became the first woman to retain her titles in both the 100 and 200m.
Campbell-Brown, in an interview with BBC, commended Thompson-Herah for her seamless execution of the 200m race which she completed in a time of 21.53. She broke the 30-year-old national record held by Merlene Ottey and was just 19 seconds short of the world record held by late American sprinter, Flo Jo.
“It was an incredible race, I was so nervous watching it. Elaine executed that race so smoothly, she peaked at the right time, she came to Tokyo so focused, and I’m very happy for her, that she was able to not defend her title, but also to run a very fast time and now have the second-fastest time in history,” she said.
Namibia’s 19-year-old Christine Mboma was second with a new World Under 20 record of 21.81 seconds while American Gabrielle Thomas took the bronze in 21.87 seconds. Her compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was fourth in 21.94 seconds.
“I want to also congratulate all the other athletes in the field that showed up and did their best, it was an excellent race to watch,” Campbell-Brown said.
Campbell-Brown, who has had her own share of Olympic glory before retiring recently, said she understood the level of preparation that had gone into Thompson-Herah making her historic run.
“A lot of hard work, mental focus and just working through the ups and down, because Elaine had struggled with Achilles injury for a while and she tried and her Achilles in now better, and her confidence is now boosted before of doing so well in the 100m and she just take that momentum to the 200m,” she said.
She added; “But it all comes back to preparation and her mental focus that really allowed her to believe in herself and go out there with a lot of pressure and was able to just deliver.”
Campbell-Brown also shared that she was contemplating being a part of the Jamaican team in Tokyo. But an injury made her put that dream to rest. Now she’s content in retirement and is happy to cheer on the team.
“I had an excellent career, and I’m content with all that I’ve achieved. I was open to being in Tokyo I was trying all the way up till June when I got injured and never had enough time to recover so I could not compete in the Jamaican trials,” she said.
“But it feels good to be cheering on all the Jamaican athletes and my young brother, I’m happy that I’m not the only one in my family who is passionate about athletics.”