Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah pledged Tuesday to work her way “back up to the top” after a disappointing world championships as she launched her bid for 100m glory at the Commonwealth Games.
Thompson-Herah finished third behind fellow Jamaican sprint stars Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson in the 100m at last month’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.
It was a disappointing performance for the 30-year-old, who topped the podium at last year’s Tokyo Olympics in both the 100m and 200m, retaining the titles she had won in Rio.
Thompson-Herah is the only one of the three Jamaican sprint stars to enter the 100m in Birmingham, where the track and field events started on Tuesday.
“Physically, I’m feeling good,” she said after running 10.99sec to finish second in the women’s 100m heats behind Nigeria’s Grace Nwokocha.
“That run was pretty comfortable and relaxing, and hopefully I can take that through the competition.”
Addressing her failure to match her Olympic achievements at the recent worlds, she added: “You have to believe in yourself because no one else can believe in you.
“I wanted to do well this year. It’s not on God’s watch, it’s on my watch. Whatever time I put together, I will work my way back up to the top.”
In the men’s 100m heats at Alexander Stadium, Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon was quickest, in a time of 10.06, ahead of Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala
Defending heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson led the way with 2,032 points after the 100m hurdles and high jump but her jump of 1.84m was well below her personal best of 1.98.
Australia’s Taneille Crase is 17 points behind the England star, who finished a disappointing eighth at the world championships.
In round one of the women’s 800m, Jamaica’s Natoya Goule was quickest in qualifying, with England’s Olympic and world silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson and Scotland’s Laura Muir also safely through.
Muir, who followed her 1,500m silver medal at last year’s Olympics with bronze at the world championships, said she was pleased with her opening run.
“I had to run fast to do that because the standard here is so high but it’s great to be in that final,” said Muir, who is seeking her first ever Commonwealth medal.
“It’s not quite home turf but it’s close enough,” she said. “I’m lucky to have a lot of friends and family here along with all the British support.”
Uganda’s Olympic bronze medallist Jacob Kiplimo, who also finished third at the recent world championships, is favourite to win the men’s 10,000m final, during Tuesday’s evening session.