On Saturday, Elaine Thompson-Herah maintained her 100-meter title at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by setting a new Olympic record of 10.61 (-0.6m/s) (31).
The 2016 Olympic 100- and 200-meter champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, led an all-Jamaican podium as she won by a wide margin over Fraser-Pryce and Olympic 400-meter bronze medalist Shericka Jackson (all three women finished in under 10.80).
E. Thompson-Herah Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Thompson-time Herah’s is tied for second fastest in women’s 100m history, and it beats the Olympic record set by world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner in Seoul in 1988 by 0.01. Quick from the blocks, Fraser-Pryce ran a 10.74 to win her eighth Olympic gold; Jackson ran a 10.76 PB to win bronze for the second time; and multiple-medal winner Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast placed fourth in 10.91.
Ajla Del Ponte, the reigning European indoor 60m champion, raced 10.97 to rank fifth, just a few seconds off her Swiss record of 10.91 from the preliminary rounds. Her colleague Mujinga Kambundji, a bronze medalist at the world 200 metres, posted a time of 10.99 to place sixth, while Americans Teahna Daniels (11.02) and Daryll Neita (GBR) finished seventh and eighth, respectively (11.12).
After suffering a string of injuries since capturing the sprint double in Rio five years ago, Thompson-Herah made a triumphant return to the world stage with this victory.
As she reached the finish line, the 29-year-old threw her left arm in the air in celebration before letting out a series of screams and collapsing to the track in ecstasy at the realisation of her accomplishment.
“I was at a loss for words,” she admitted later. The sheer joy I felt caused me to scream at the top of my lungs.
I’ve been hurt a lot. I’m glad I got to defend my title this year. Throughout it all, I have remained faithful. That’s incredible.
Eight women had gone under 10.90 seconds in the weeks and months preceding up to the Tokyo Games, putting the women’s 100-meter dash squarely in the limelight. The grand finale lived up to all of the hype.
This is Fraser-fifth Pryce’s Olympic medal overall, and it joins her 2008 and 2012 100-meter golds, her 200-meter and 4×100-meter silvers, and her 100-meter bronze. The 34-year-old was leading the season-to-date list with her 10.63 from Kingston in June, which now places her third on the global all-time list, and she has also become a nine-time world champion and a mother to son Zyon during that time.