Tokyo 2020: Elaine Thompson-Herah targets world record after Olympic 100m title

Elaine Thompson-Herah believes the world record is within her grasp after defending her 100m Olympic title.

The 29-year-old ran an Olympic record of 10.61 seconds to beat Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson as Jamaica secured a clean sweep in Tokyo on Saturday.

Thompson-Herah’s time was the second fastest in history, beaten only by Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record of 10.49s set in 1988.

“It’s a work in progress. Anything is possible,” said Thompson-Herah, when asked if she could set a new mark.

“I can’t remember but I knew I was clear, that I won, so I started to celebrate too early. There’s most definitely [a world record] if I didn’t celebrate.

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“Two months ago, maybe a month and a half, I didn’t think I would be here [because of an Achilles injury]. I held my composure. I believed in myself, I believed in God. The team around me is very strong, I get the support and I believe in myself.

“There’s confidence to work hard. I didn’t expect to run this fast, even though I felt good through the rounds. Behind this 10.6 there’s a lot of nerves but I told myself ‘you can do this, you’ve done this before, execute’.”

Jamaica had won two medals in each of the last two Olympic women’s 100m finals but this was a repeat of their podium lockout in Beijing, when Fraser-Pryce secured the first of her titles ahead of compatriots Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart.

Fraser-Pryce was narrow favourite as she looked to regain the title she won in 2008 and 2012 but ran 10.74s with Jackson crossing the line in 10.76s.

Fraser-Pryce said: “It definitely wasn’t the race I wanted in terms of the technical part of it. I don’t find excuses. As an athlete you have to show up and perform regardless of what happens.

“I had a stumble with I think my third step and I don’t think I ever recovered but I’m happy to be able to come here and represent and compete for the championship.

“It’s always a plus when you come and give everything and you walk away with whatever you have and you move on to the next one.

“The legacy we have in Jamaica is an incredible one and I’m hoping that no matter what happens, our athletes can draw inspiration from it, be it Elaine running an Olympic record or myself coming to a fourth Olympic Games.”

Jackson, who won 400m bronze in Rio, completed the Jamaican dominance and believes they have proved they are the best.

She said: “We will continue to get more medals and more medals. We are the greatest. We have worked hard, everyone works hard but we bring it all the way, we just bring it and I think we are the greatest.

“Sprinting takes a toll on my legs so it’s just to recover, rest tomorrow and be back for the 200m. It’s one of my favourite events.”

Daryll Neita was the only Briton to make the final after Dina Asher-Smith failed to progress from the semi-finals before revealing she had been battling a serious hamstring injury.

“That wasn’t good. I’m so disappointed. I’m not happy with that, not happy with that at all,” said Neita, who came eighth in 11.12s.

“That’s not what I came here to do. I need to go away and sort a few things.”

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