Gabby Thomas: American sprinter predicts record-breaking race in Paris Olympics

Gabby Thomas: American sprinter predicts record-breaking race in Paris Olympics

Festus Chuma 17:12 - 16.04.2024

American sprinter Gabby Thomas heads to Paris Olympics eyeing top performance amidst fierce competition and historic anticipation in the 200m event.

It has been three-and-a-half decades since the 200m world record of Florence Griffith-Joyner was set at the Seoul 1988 Olympics and for many years most fans and analysts have claimed beating that mark was an impossible task. 

However, American sprinter Gabby Thomas is part of a stellar group of athletes rewriting the narrative this summer at the Paris Olympics, where the race for the women's 200m is anticipated to be nothing short of historic.

Gabby Thomas, the Harvard-educated athlete who already boasts a formidable track record, is no stranger to high stakes.

 Returning from the Tokyo Olympics adorned with bronze and silver, Thomas is eyeing the ultimate prize in Paris.

 "Everybody wants a gold medal. A gold medal would be great and that's the pinnacle and the peak of athletics. But for me it's really about doing my best and putting on a performance that I can be proud of and knowing that I worked hard," Thomas shared with Sky Sports News.

In Tokyo, Thomas achieved remarkable success, but it was not just about the medals for her. 

"It’s really all the outward talk and chatter that you hear that makes you want that gold medal. You're like, 'Dang, well I really got to go get that!'," she explained. 

Despite external pressures, Thomas remains focused on her personal best, aiming to replicate her best season to date.

The competition in Paris is fierce, with key rivals like Jamaica's Shericka Jackson and fellow American Sha'Carri Richardson, not to mention Christine Mboma and Elaine Thompson-Herah, all in top form. 

Jackson, especially, is a strong contender, having clocked 21.41 seconds at the World Championships last year, a whisper away from Flo-Jo's world record of 21.34 seconds.

Thomas discussed the unprecedented level of competition, "The 200m is so exciting on the women's side because we're running times that just have not been run before since Flo Jo. Flo Jo was an anomaly in herself. 

So the fact that we have a few of us women doing that and doing such special things in that event," indicating the remarkable pace being set by today's athletes.

The anticipation for a record-breaking race is palpable, and Thomas believes that with the right conditions, the decades-old record could fall.

 "It's got to go," she asserts confidently from her training base in Texas.

 "I personally think with the right conditions, you can't control for weather or the type of track you're running on. But given the weather and the track, I think … yeah, that's going to be a really, really special event to watch."

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