What a race! Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah claimed the title of fastest woman in the world by winning the 100 meters Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics.
It definitely was the glamour event of the day as the Toyko Olympics gets to the track and field portion of the Games. And it was a banner day for Jamaica track.
Take a look at the race:
Thompson-Herah Nipped Flo-Jo’s Olympic Record
Thompson-Herah ran the race in 10.61 seconds. That’s the second-fastest time ever run by a woman. So the world record owned by track legend Florence Griffith-Joyner lives on. The flamboyant Flo-Jo ran a 10.49 way back in 1988. But Thompson-Herah did break her Olympic standard. Flo-Jo ran a 10.62 at the 1988 Games.
It wasn’t a surprise that Thompson-Herah won the race at the Tokyo Olympics. She’s the defending champion in the event. She might’ve even posted a faster time, but she threw her arms in the air to celebrate just as she was crossing the finish line.
Thompson-Herah led a Jamaican sweep of medals.
Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce finished second, while Shericka Jackson was third. All the Jamaican athletes sport bright green and yellow colors. The sight of the colors probably intimidates the competitors. Jamaica track is that dominant.
How Much More Can Thompson-Herah Do at Tokyo Olympics? Lots More
Thompson-Herah is just getting started at the Tokyo Olympics, if past performances are an indication. She won double gold at the 2016 Rio Games, claiming both the 100 and 200 meters. She also ran a leg on Jamaica’s 4 X 100 relay, which won silver.
The American women didn’t fare well. Teahna Daniels was the only American woman to make it to the finals at the Tokyo Olympics. The former University of Texas star finished seventh.
But the race at the Tokyo Olympics showed Americans what could have been. Sha’Carri Richardson won the Olympic Trials in June and was hoping to interrupt the Jamaican track party. But Richardson was suspended for a month after she tested positive for marijuana.
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Richardson’s suspension, which knocked her out of the Tokyo Olympics, was a highly debated topic in the weeks leading up to the biggest sporting event in the world. She said she ingested marijuana to help her cope with the stress of losing her birth mother. Her grandmother raised Richardson, who said she learned of her birth mother’s death from a reporter.
But if Richardson had run at the Tokyo Olympics, it might not have made much of a difference. Beating Thompson-Herah already was a formidable challenge. Plus, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce also owns two Olympic gold medals. She ran a 10.63 earlier this year for the fastest time in the world coming into the Tokyo Olympics. Jackson, the bronze medalist, is a former standout in the 400 meters. She’s now switched to the shorter sprints.
As for Flo Jo’s record, someone eventually will take it down. The star athlete died unexpectedly at age 38, a decade after her dazzling Olympic performance in Seoul.
Al Joyner, Flo-Jo’s husband, predicted that some sprinter at the Tokyo Olympics will break one of her world records. But after Saturday, the 100 meter standard still is safe.