Sprint queen Thompson aiming to please

Jamaica's 100m and 200m Olympic champion Elaine Thompson will ensure there is still plenty of star power on the track at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The fastest woman in the world is emerging as the worthy Commonwealth Games main event as the stars of men's sprinting fall around her.

Elaine Thompson won the 100m-200m double at the Rio Olympics, with the Jamaican already dusting off the jet lag in training on the Gold Coast ahead of April's Games.

Her presence is a welcome one given the scratchings of countryman Asafa Powell as well as Canada's Andre De Grasse and South African Wayde van Niekerk.

South Africa's Olympic gold medallist and world record holder van Niekerk hurt his knee in a celebrity touch rugby match, while Powell's withdrawal due to a hamstring injury was revealed on Friday and De Grasse opted to skip the Games and build towards the northern hemisphere outdoor season.

Even sprinting great Usain Bolt has shied away from individual racing at previous Commonwealth Games, retiring without a single individual gold medal to put alongside his eight Olympic golds.

But the 25-year-old Thompson, who holds a resume as robust as any other Games athlete, means business.

Arriving with freshly-braided hair, she is intent on setting a season's best and appeasing the appetite of fans in search of raw speed.

"Everyone's expectation is going to be high; I'm looking forward to going out there and delivering," she told reporters after training on the Gold Coast.

"It's important, this is our main championship and it (the Commonwealth Games) means a lot.

"It's like a mini-Olympics in a way, but I remember in 2014 I made my first Commonwealth Games in the 4x100 (relay) and I'm looking forward to my first individual."

Thompson may run in the 100m, 200m or both but is yet to lock in her schedule or decide if she will run in next week's final pre-Games meet in Brisbane.

Either way she's just happy she ignored the early advice to pursue a slightly different career.

"People always tell me that I am going to do well, but most looked at me and told me I was a 400m runner," she said.

"Deep down I didn't believe that, I knew I was a sprinter so I tried to work and become a sprint queen and now I'm an Olympic double champion, so I'm grateful."

Source AAP

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