Elaine Thompson-Herah produced a stunning sprinting performance to take gold in the women’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Jamaican, who won the blue riband event at Rio in 2016, held off her compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who took silver, and Shericka Jackson, who won bronze, to take victory in 10.61sec, breaking Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old Olympic record.
Fraser-Pryce was quickest out of the blocks but could not hold off her compatriot in the second half of the race, with Thompson-Herah powering through and creating enough of a gap to her rivals that she was able to celebrate before crossing the line.
“I’ve been injured so much. I’m grateful I could get back on the track, and get back out on the track this year to retain the title,” said Thompson-Herah. “I knew I had it in me but obviously I’ve had my ups and downs with injuries. I’ve been keeping faith all this time. It is amazing.”
In all, six women ran under 11 seconds, making the race one of the fastest in history. Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast was fourth behind the three Jamaican sprinters, with the Swiss duo of Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji fifth and sixth.
“I had a stumble and I never recovered from it,” Fraser-Pryce, the champion in 2008 and 2012, told the BBC. “As a mother, in my fourth Olympic Games, to be able to stand again on the podium is a tremendous honour.”
Great Britain’s Daryll Neita finished eighth in 11.12sec but Dina Asher-Smith missed out on the final after a disappointing run in her semi. She later pulled out of the 200m through injury.
“It’s obviously great to make the Olympic final but I came here with that ambition and nothing less,” Neita told the BBC. “This performance is not ideal for me and it doesn’t represent where I’m at at all but I mean, it’s an Olympic final.”