Five-time Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah has announced her withdrawal from the Jamaican trials because of an Achilles injury, preventing her from defending her 100m and 200m titles at the Paris Games in August.

Thompson-Herah, turning 32 on Friday, is celebrated as one of the greatest sprinters ever, having made history as the first woman to win consecutive Olympic sprint doubles, defending her titles in Tokyo three years ago. She also won gold with the 4x100m relay team.

Her most recent 200m race was in April 2023, and she sustained the injury during the 100m event at the New York Grand Prix this month, finishing in 11.48 seconds.

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“Sharing news like this is never easy,” the Jamaican athlete wrote in an Instagram post. “At the New York Grand Prix, I felt something during the race and tried to push through it. But a few steps from the finish line, I knew something was seriously wrong.”

“I couldn’t put any pressure on my leg and had to be carried off the track. A medical check-up revealed a small tear in my Achilles tendon.

 

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“Despite returning home with a strong determination to prepare for the national trials, my leg just wouldn’t cooperate.”

Thompson-Herah has battled Achilles issues before, following her outstanding double gold performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, which led to her missing medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships.

The three-time Diamond League winner made a triumphant return at the Tokyo Games, securing her second Olympic double and an additional relay gold, bringing her total to five Olympic gold medals. Despite her current injury, Thompson-Herah expressed her intention to support her fellow Jamaican athletes in Paris and remains committed to her sprint career.

“It’s a long road, but I’m ready to start over, work hard, and fully recover to get back on track,” she wrote. “I’m devastated to miss the Olympics this year, but my health must come first. I will be back.”

Thompson-Herah had already opted not to defend her 200m title after missing the entry deadline for the Jamaican Athletics Championships from June 27-30. The track and field events at the Paris Olympics are set to take place from August 1 to 11 at the Stade de France.