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Tokyo 2020: Elaine Thompson-Herah leads a Jamaica 1-2-3 to defend 100M title

Elaine Thompson

Bengaluru, July 31: Elaine Thompson-Herah led a Jamaica 1-2-3 to successfully defend her 100M title with a new Olympic record of 10.61sec at Tokyo 2020.

At the Japan National Stadium, Thompson pipped sentimental favourite and two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.74sec) to silver while Shericka Jackson, with a personal best of 10.76 won the bronze as Jamaicans clean sweeped the podium.

Thompson-Herah's Olympic record winning time matched the second-fastest time in history of 10.61sec set by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Only Griffith-Joyner, America's 1988 Olympic champion who remains the world record holder with a best 10.49, has ever run faster.

The Jamaican posted a slightly slower time than reigning world champion Fraser-Pryce in the heats, but pipped her compatriot in the incredible final at Japan's Olympic Stadium.

Thompson-Herah's time was just 0.12sec short of the all-time women's 100M record set by Griffith-Joyner.

Fraser-Pryce, who won gold in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 before claiming bronze at 2016, was one of the favourites for the blue riband event as she was eyeing her third title.

Tokyo 2020: Four stars to watch out for in athletics

However, Fraser-Pryce had to play second fiddle to Thompson-Herah as six of the eight competitors finished under 11sec as one of the most hotly anticipated events of the Tokyo Games lived up to its billing.

Fraser-Pryce made a rapid start to what was the quickest women's final in history and led at around the 60M mark, but she was caught by Thompson-Herah and the 29-year-old crossed the line in record time.

Thompson-Herah was forced to withdraw from a Gateshead Diamond League event in May with an Achilles problem that has affected her for several years, yet she battled back from that injury to make it back-to-back gold medals.

"I've been struggling with my injury back and forth," she was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

"I see all the bad comments, and for me to stay focused, hold my composure... I take all of my losses, all of my defeats and I use them as my motivation."

The action now shifts to the men's 100M final which will be held on Sunday (August 1) at 6.20pm.

Tokyo 2020: Four favourites for men's 100M

This is the first 100M final going to held after champion sprinter Usain Bolt bowed out of the scene in 2017.

The Jamaican had reigned supreme in last three editions and holds the Olympic and World Championship records as well.

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Story first published: Saturday, July 31, 2021, 18:38 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 31, 2021