Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah becomes the fastest woman in the world at Tokyo Olympics

Six of the eight competitors finished under 11 seconds as one of the most hotly anticipated events of the Tokyo Games lived up to its billing.

Agency News Contributor

Updated - 31 July 2021 8:57 pm

Elaine Thompson-Herah became the second-fastest woman in history and the fastest woman alive as she retained her Olympic women's 100 metre crown in Tokyo with a Games record of 10.61 seconds. Only Griffith-Joyner has ever run faster, the 1988 Olympic champion, remains the world record holder with a best 10.49.

The Jamaican posted a slightly slower time than reigning world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the heats but pipped her compatriot in Saturday's incredible final at the Olympic Stadium.

Thompson-Herah's time was just 0.12s short of the all-time women's 100m record set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Jamaican supremacy in women's 100m at Tokyo

Fraser-Pryce, who won gold in 2008 and 2012 before claiming bronze in 2016, finished in a time of 10.74 and Shericka Jackson completed a Jamaican one-two-three with a personal best of 10.76.

Six of the eight competitors finished under 11 seconds as one of the most hotly anticipated events of the Tokyo Games lived up to its billing.

Fraser-Pryce made a rapid start to what was the quickest women's final in history and led at around the 60m mark, but she was caught by Thompson-Herah and the 29-year-old crossed the line in record time.

Thompson-Herah was forced to withdraw from a Gateshead Diamond League event in May with an Achilles problem that has affected her for several years, yet she battled back from that injury to make it back-to-back gold medals.

"I've been struggling with my injury back and forth," she told BBC Sport. "I see all the bad comments, and for me to stay focused, hold my composure... I take all of my losses, all of my defeats and I use them as my motivation."

It is crazy, my emotions are still very raw: Silver-medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Fraser-Pryce, who missed more than a year of action around the birth of her son in 2017, said: "It wasn't the best 30m because I had a stumble at about the third step and I never recovered from it.

"Nevertheless I am grateful to be able to come out here and represent what God has given me.

"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. I am hoping wherever in the world, mothers, athletes, females, we understand that there is so much more we can achieve.

"It is crazy, but you know my emotions are still very raw right now. I am sure I will go home and there will be some tears. I have been through this many, many times, so I am just really excited about what I have been able to do tonight."

Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, one of five athletes to clock a time below 10.8s this year heading into the Games, finished just outside the medal positions with 10.91s.

Swiss pair Ajla del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji finished fifth and sixth, while the United States' Teahna Daniels was seventh and Daryll Neita eighth.

Neita's British team-mate Dina Asher-Smith, who took silver at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, did not qualify from her semi-final and then withdrew from the 200m – in which she is world champion – as she recovers from a hamstring tear.

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