US Track Legend Michael Johnson Shares Thoughts on Gabby Thomas’ Record-Breaking Run at Doha Diamond League

Published 05/14/2022, 8:15 AM EDT

Gabby Thomas’ record-breaking sprint at Doha gained a lot of attention. She posted a stunning 21.98 seconds matching the meet record previously set by Allyson Felix. Even though it was not a straightforward victory, she pulled it off at the end to bring home a fantastic win.

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In fact, she even got coaching from one of the greatest sprinters ever, Michael Johnson. The legendary sprinter responded to Thomas on Twitter, inquiring about her shaky start that caught his attention. Putting forward that question to Thomas, what followed was an engaging conversation between a mentor and his disciple.

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Michael Johnson’s golden advice to Thomas

Thomas’ claim of “Almost had me in the first half 😭” was followed by the legend saying, “Nice recovery and patience! Did you lose momentum out of the blocks? That was a lot of horizontal motion first few steps.” It looked like it turned into a feedback session!

To this, Thomas replied, “Coach Bailey said the same thing 😂 there was so much headwind on the curve, I think I was grinding a little too much”.

Johnson, who became satisfied with her reply, wished her well for the remaining season, “Well Coach Bailey (sounds funny to me) aka Tanja, definitely knows! You’re in good hands. But I’m sure you know that. Good luck this year.”

Gabby Thomas came out of the middle to take home the win for 200m at the Doha Diamond League. In the beginning, it looked like reigning World Champion Dina Asher-Smith would bag the first place. As the race progressed, Thomas and Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson overtook Asher-Smith, who faded into third and set a time of 22.37 seconds.

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What’s next for Gabby Thomas?

Thomas is having a good season so far. Her personal best of 21.61 seconds makes her the third-fastest woman ever. Thomas will look forward to the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, looking to carry her momentum. The absent rival Christine Mboma, who couldn’t complete her race in Doha because of an injury, probably would recover in time to run for the world title.

Jun 26, 2021; Eugene, OR, USA; Gabby Thomas aka Gabrielle Thomas poses with gold medal after winning the women’s 200m in a meet-record 21.61 during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah will be there to challenge reigning champion Asher-Smith. It will be a unique race, and as the season unfolds while the competition will only get more fierce. Will we continue to see Thomas make record-breaking sprints?

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Mansi Jain

71 articles

Mansi Jain is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Bachelor's degree in Multimedia and Mass Communication from the University of Delhi and has also previously interned for HT Media. She is always one mention of Yuzuru Hanyu away from delivering an hour-long speech about the athlete's legacy.

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