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Thompson-Herah sets Olympic record in Jamaican sweep of 100m

Thompson-Herah sets Olympic record in Jamaican sweep of 100m
Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica celebrates. At left (background) is silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. (GP)

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Elaine Thompson-Herah became the second-fastest woman in history as she beat fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to defend her Olympic 100m title.

The 29-year-old ran a new Olympic record of 10.61 seconds, just 0.12secs short of the world record set 33 years ago by American Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Shericka Jackson completed a Jamaican one-two-three in Tokyo with a time of 10.76, 0.02 behind Fraser-Pryce.

Fraser-Pryce, who qualified fastest for the final, found herself under pressure almost immediately from the gun as her usual whip-smart start did not fire as expected.

With the long-striding Thompson-Herah on her shoulder, Fraser-Pryce tensed up over the final 30 metres.

Thompson-Herah’s lead was comfortable enough to salute the clock and photographers as she crossed the line in a time that matches Griffith-Joyner’s second-fastest time.

Thompson-Herah, who came third in the Jamaican trials earlier this year, relished her victory over her domestic rivals, with silver little consolation to a grim-faced Fraser-Pryce.

“It wasn’t the best 30 metres because I had a stumble at about the third step and I never recovered from it,” said the 34-year-old, who was aiming to be become the first woman to win three Olympic 100m titles.

“I am excited because, as a mother and at my fourth Olympics, to be able to stand again on the podium is just a tremendous honour.

“But, you know, my emotions are still very raw right now. I am sure I will go home and there will be some tears.”

Thompson-Herah has been suffering with an Achilles tendon injury for almost five years.

It forced her to withdraw from Doha 2019, where she had hoped to win her first individual world crown. Instead, she watched from home as Fraser-Pryce claimed her fifth.

She came close to pulling out of last month’s Jamaican trials because of a recurring bout of pain from the injury.

But she managed to make the start line and qualify in the 100m and 200m, ensuring she will have a chance to repeat her sprint double from Rio. (BBC)