Elaine Thompson-Herah came within 0.05 seconds of Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old 100m world record as she clocked the second fastest time ever at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene.
The Jamaican blazed to victory at the Prefontaine Classic in 10.54sec, eclipsing the 10.61s she ran to defend her Olympic title in Tokyo last month.
She finished well clear of compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who clocked 10.73.
Griffith-Joyner is the only woman to have clocked a faster time over the distance, having set the world record of 10.49 seconds in 1988.
Thompson-Herah was confident she could beat that time – and break the 200m record as well.
“I have so much more in me, so yes, it’s possible,” she said.
Sha’Carri Richardson, the American who missed the Olympics after testing positive for cannabis, finished last in 11.14 in her first race back following a one-month ban.
Richardson, 21, was defiant despite the underwhelming result in a trackside interview with NBC’s Lewis Johnson after the race, describing it as “a great return back to the sport”.
“This is one race,” Richardson said. “I’m not done. You know what I’m capable of. Count me out if you want to. Talk all the shit you want. Because I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth fastest woman in this game ever and can’t nobody ever take that from me.”
She added: “I wanted to be able to come and perform after having a month off and dealing with all I was dealing with. I’m not upset with myself at all.”
Thompson-Herah, who completed a 100m-200m double for a second successive Olympics in Tokyo, said she surprised even herself at Hayward Field, beating Fraser-Pryce by nearly two-tenths of a second. Shericka Jackson finished third to repeat the Jamaicans’ Tokyo podium sweep.
“To come back with a (personal best) after the championships, that is amazing,” said Thompson-Herah. “I haven’t run that fast in five years.”
In the men’s 100m event, Tokyo bronze medallist Andre de Grasse won in a wind-aided 9.74, with Americans Fred Kerley and Ronnie Baker finishing in 9.78 and 9.82, respectively.
“I didn’t feel like I really executed that day in the Olympic finals, I didn’t get off the blocks,” said de Grasse. “Today I feel like I did a good job of coming off the blocks and my transition was good so I knew it was going to be a good race after that.”
The meet saw speedy performances across the board, as American Noah Lyles surged out of the turn to win the men’s 200 metres in a world-leading 19.52 seconds after finishing a disappointing third in Tokyo.
“It’s a tight little bow on the end of the season,” said Lyles. “I feel like (after) five sessions of therapy I was able to let go of what happened in Tokyo.”
Olympic champion Athing Mu won the women’s 800 metres in 1:55.04, her last race of the season in which she also won gold in the 4×400 relay.
“I feel like I’m just running on a high, and just going back to back to back with things, I haven’t really had time to sit down and actually embrace it,” said the 19-year-old American. “So hopefully with the next couple of weeks I’ll get to do that.”
With her key rival and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin absent, Tokyo silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad made light work of the 400m hurdles, winning by more than one second in 52.77.
In the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Kenya’s Norah Jeruto put up a world-leading 8:53.65 to win, as American Courtney Frerichs took second in 8:57.77 after winning silver in Tokyo.