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Somerset resident on quest to again meet fastest woman in world

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Elaine Thompson-Herah wins the 100 metres at the Tokyo Olympics (File photograph)

Debra Bascome cannot wait to see Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah showcase her talents for the second time when she competes in the USATF Grand Prix at Flora Duffy Stadium on Sunday.

The 75-year-old Somerset resident has been a fan of the five-times Olympic champion and fastest woman alive since accidentally meeting her at a track meet in Spanish Town, Jamaica, during a visit to the Caribbean island prior to her rise to world dominance in the 100 and 200 metres.

“I was on holiday in Jamaica and love track and I knew it was a big track meet going on, so I decided to go,” Bascome told The Royal Gazette.

“The meet was held at GC Foster College in Spanish Town, Jamaica, which was just about a ten-minute walk up the road from where I was staying.

“They are known for having good track teams, so I made it my business to go and I was very happy with seeing all those lot doing their thing.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, left, and Bermudian Debra Bascome after track meet at GC Foster College in Spanish Town, Jamaica (Photograph supplied)

”I was really looking for Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who was the fast one before. I did see her and tried to engage her in conversation but the media called her and she went, so I asked Elaine to come and take a picture with me and didn't even know who she was.

“I think she came second that day but since then she has outdone everybody and is the fastest lady now.

“I was constantly watching her on the television do her thing at the Olympics and was excited because I saw how she was coming up, up and up as far as gaining momentum and I am so happy for her.

“I told her if she does come to Bermuda I will be looking for her. I am going to the track meet on Sunday and would like to meet her again.”

Thompson-Herah, 31, is only the second sprinter after Usain Bolt to win the sprint double at consecutive Olympics, capturing gold in the 100 and 200 metres at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and defending both titles in Tokyo. Winning another gold in the 4x100 relay in Japan means she is only the third person after Bolt and Florence Griffith-Joyner to complete an Olympic triple clean sweep of sprint medals.

Griffith-Joyner is the only woman in history to have run faster than Thompson-Herah, with the Jamaican’s best time of 10.54sec just 0.05 outside the world record set by the American in Indianapolis in 1988.

Thompson-Herah is the biggest name to have been confirmed as competing in Bermuda this week but she is not the only Olympic medal-winner set to grace the Flora Duffy Stadium with 200 metres bronze medalist Noah Lyles also returning to the island.

Bermuda’s Olympic hopefuls, triple jumper Jah-Nhai Perinchief and middle distance runner Dage Minors, will also be performing.

“I think the event is a great opportunity for local track fans and our athletes to showcase themselves at this level in front of their own people, and it’s getting bigger and better every year,” Bascome added.

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Published April 25, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 26, 2024 at 8:06 am)

Somerset resident on quest to again meet fastest woman in world

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