Tokyo Olympics: Elaine Thompson-Herah retains women's 100m gold

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Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the women's 100m final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the women's 100m final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (PHOTO: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Reporting from Tokyo

TOKYO — Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah retained her Olympic women's 100m gold, clocking an Olympic record 10.61 seconds at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Saturday (31 July).

The 29-year-old eclipsed Florence Griffith-Joyner's previous Olympic record of 10.62sec, set at the 1988 Seoul Games.

"It's amazing," she told the official Olympic media service. 

"I believe in myself but I didn't expect to run this fast, even though I felt great during the rounds. There were a lot of nerves but I said to myself, 'You can do this, you've been here before, just execute it'.

"I've got no more words. I've never run this fast. It hasn't fully soaked in. Probably in a month I can see what it feels like."

With the win, Thompson-Herah also denied compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.74sec) in the 34-year-old's bid to become the first sprinter to win three women's 100m golds, as well as becoming the oldest sprinter to win gold.

"Of course you are disappointed," Fraser-Pryce said. "The aim of an athlete lining up, of course, is always to win but that didn’t happen tonight.

"But I am still very grateful to make the finals and to be able to stand at the podium at my fourth Olympic Games."

Shericka Jackson made a sweep for Jamaican on the podium, clocking 10.76sec for bronze.

Earlier in the evening, Fraser-Pryce had qualified for the final with the fastest time of 10.73sec run in her semi-final, with Thompson-Herah second-fastest in 10.76sec.

But there was an upset result for Britain's Dina Asher-Smith, the reigning 200m world champion and 100m world silver medallist, who could not qualify for the final after placing only third in her race with 11.05sec.

Asher-Smith, 25, is the fastest British woman in history and arrived in Tokyo having been unbeaten in her races this season. However a recent hamstring injury had caused doubts on her fitness ahead of the Olympics, and she has also pulled out of the women's 200m event.

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