Elaine Thompson-Herah leads Jamaican sweep with 100-meter gold

·2 min read

TOKYO — Elaine Thompson-Herah didn’t think she would be able to defend her Olympic title.

Thompson-Herah dealt with a nagging Achilles injury all the way through the Jamaican Olympic trials. In Tokyo, the reigning Olympic champion didn’t show any ill effects from a troublesome Achilles.

The 29-year-old ran a blistering 10.61 seconds to win the women’s 100 meters Saturday at the Tokyo Games. Thompson-Herah celebrated a few meters before she comfortably crossed the finish line first to win her second consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 100 meters. She earned her first 100-meter gold medal, running a 10.71 at Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates after winning the women's 100 final during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium.
Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates after winning the women's 100 final during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium.

Thompson-Herah's new personal-record time set an Olympic record, surpassing Florence Griffith-Joyner's time of 10.62 set in 1988. Griffith-Joyner still holds the world record of 10.49, which she also set that year. Griffith-Joyner is the only woman in history to run 100 meters faster than Thompson-Herah.

The 29-year-old’s personal best time of 10.61 also set a Jamaican national record.

"God is amazing I must say. I believe in myself and I believe in God. The team around me is very strong. I didn’t expect to run this fast even though I felt great in between the rounds," Thompson-Herah said. "There were nerves, but I said you can do this, and you have been there before, just execute."

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Thompson-Herah beat fellow Jamaican teammates Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.74) and Shericka Jackson (10.76). It was just the second time in Olympic history the Jamaicans swept the medal stand in the women’s 100 meters. They also accomplished the feat in 2008.

Fraser-Pryce was favored to win the race, having taken gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. She was seeking to join fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt as the only sprinters in history to win three Olympic gold medals in the 100 meters.

Instead, Thompson-Herah joins Fraser-Pryce, Gail Devers and Wyomia Tyus as the only women in Olympic history to win back-to-back Olympic titles in the 100 meters.

Teahna Daniels, the lone American in the race, finished seventh in 11.02.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Elaine Thompson-Herah leads Jamaica with 100m gold at Tokyo Olympics

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