“A Shock”: Authorities Baffled by Elaine Thompson-Herah Snub as Best Female Athlete of Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 11/13/2021, 11:22 AM EST
Athletics – Diamond League – Lausanne – Lausanne, Switzerland – August 26, 2021 Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates winning the women’s 100m final as Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah looks dejected after finishing second REUTERS/Denis Balibouse


Athletics champion Elaine Thompson-Herah undoubtedly outclassed her counterparts with her incredible performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, the Association of NOCs has awarded the best female athlete of Tokyo 2020 to Canada’s Maggie MacNeil.

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Notably, the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletics Association aren’t happy with the decision made by the committee. Despite clocking the world’s second-fastest time in 2021, Elaine was deprived of the award.

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Elaine overlooked for the Best Female Athlete award

Scheduled for 2020 initially, the Tokyo Olympics took place in 2021, after a year’s delay because of the pandemic. Regardless, Elaine was unstoppable on the track, as she clinched three gold medals in the mega-event, breaking the Olympic record.

Athletics – Diamond League – Zurich – Letzigrund, Zurich, Switzerland – September 9, 2021 Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates winning the women’s 100m REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

However, the Association of National Olympic Committees hasn’t awarded Elaine the Best Female Athlete award. Instead, Canadian swimmer, Maggie MacNeil, has been given the honor. Notably, the 21-year-old swimmer had secured three medals in Tokyo.

Not denying her incredible performance, but compared to Elaine’s three gold medals, Maggie had won one gold, silver, and bronze medal.

The NACAC was stunned by the decision to overlook Elaine’s astonishing achievements in Tokyo.  The general secretary of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee, Joseph said, “For the several NACAC member countries in attendance at the Awards Ceremony held on the evening of Sunday, 24 October, in the city of Heraklion on the Island of Crete, Greece, it came as a shock that Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson was not the eventual winner.” 

Elaine Thompson-Herah closest to breaking the World Record

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The American athletic legend, Flojo, had clocked the world record in 100m (10.49 seconds) back in 1988, and no woman has surpassed it to date. Remarkably, Elaine came close to breaking her record at the Diamond Leagues meet. The Jamaican sprinter clocked the blazing time of 10.54 seconds.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Elaine Thompson-Herah of Team Jamaica celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Women’s 200m Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

NACAC chose Elaine for the honor of Female Athlete of the Year. Interestingly, Elaine appeared in the Tokyo Games, as the reigning champion in 100m and 200m races, and she defended both of her titles.

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In athletics, women were in the spotlight as the races witnessed some fierce competition between top athletes like Elaine, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Gabrielle Thomas. And Elaine still dominated them by a huge margin. Do you think it was a fair decision by the Olympic committee to not award Elaine the honor?

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Shreya Verma

416 articles

Shreya Verma is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. A post-graduation student in political science, Shreya is also a professional 10m air pistol shooter. Taking after her athlete father, she was naturally inclined towards the athletic life.

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