2016 Rio Olympics champion Elaine Thompson-Herah led the way for an all-Jamaican sweep of the podium in the women’s 100m final at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.
In the Olympic Stadium, Elaine, the defending champion, clinched the gold medal with a new Olympic record of 10.61 seconds. Her compatriots, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver medal with 10.74 seconds, while Shericka Jackson clocked 10.76 seconds for the bronze medal.
Elaine’s timing in Tokyo broke the Olympics record of 33 years set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988. She is also the second Jamaican woman to defend her title in the event, after Shelly-Ann’s back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2012. The win also continues Jamaica’s domination in the event, winning the gold since the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finishing in the top three since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Jamaica’s last clean sweep in the event came in the Bird’s Nest Stadium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Back then, Shelly-Ann triumphed with a gold-medal winning timing of 10.78 seconds. Her teammates, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart shared the silver medal with a timing of 10.98 seconds.
Shelly-Ann, the fastest sprinter from the qualifiers, was the quickest to start out of the eight women in the final. At one point, she was neck-in-neck with Elaine. But Shelly-Ann could not surge past her compatriot in the second half of the race. Elaine increased her speed and created a gap enough for her to celebrate with a left salute even before crossing the line.
Overall, six women ran under 11 seconds, making the race as one of the fastest in history. Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast came fourth behind the troika of Jamaican sprinters. The Switzerland duo of Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji finished fifth and sixth respectively.