JAMAICA | Elaine Thompson-Herah sets Olympic Record to win 100m sprint in 10.61 secs
TOKYO, Japan, July 31, 2021 - Billed as one of the greatest sprint races of all time, Jamaica’s sprinting sensation, Elaine Thompson-Herah ran an Olympic and National Record 10.61 seconds (-0.6m/s), successfully defending her 100m Olympic title as Jamaica swept the event 1-2-3 at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
The 29-year-old 2016 Olympic 100m and 200m winner blazed away from her rivals to claim the crown ahead of multiple global gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Rio Olympic 400m medallist Shericka Jackson, as the top three all dipped under 10.80.ran 10.61 seconds. She became the second-fastest woman in history, breaking Florence Joyner's Olympic record of 10.62 seconds.
This is just 0.12secs short of the world record set by Griffith-Joyner in 1988 and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's national record 10.63 second set earlier this year.
Thompson-Herah’s mark improves by 0.01 an Olympic record which had been set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in Seoul in 1988. The fast-starting Fraser-Pryce ran 10.74 for her seventh Olympic medal, while Jackson clocked a 10.76 PB for a second Olympic bronze and Ivory Coast’s multiple world medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou finished fourth in 10.91.
European indoor 60m champion Ajla Del Ponte’s breakthrough year continued with a fifth-place finish, as she ran 10.97 which came after her Swiss record of 10.91 in the heats. Her teammate Mujinga Kambundji, the world 200m bronze medallist, ran 10.99 in sixth, while the USA’s Teahna Daniels was seventh (11.02) and Britain’s Daryll Neita eighth (11.12).
The Jamaicans completed their second-ever sweep at the Olympics after a 1-2-2 finish in Beijing in 2008.
It was Thompson-Herah’s first medal since she won the double in Rio in 2016 after she was fifth in the World Championships final in London in 2017 and fourth in the finals in Doha in 2019.
Fraser-Pryce got the better start but Thompson-Herah, who had battled injuries for the past two years, took over midway the race and ran away, celebrating with a left hand salute as she crossed the line. The 29-year-old then let out a series of screams and sank to the track in delight as the magnitude of her feat hit her.
Sherika Jackson, who had won bronze medal in the 400m in Rio, moved up a spot on the all time Jamaican women's 100m list, joining world and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell Brown in fifth place, and Kerron Stewart in fourth place.