After smashing the refurbished Prefontaine Diamond League tracks in 10.54 seconds on Saturday to become the second fastest woman of all-time [100m], back-to-back Olympic gold medalist in both the 100 and 200 metres, Elaine Thompson-Herah has shifted her focus to breaking the late Florence Griffith-Joyner’s fastest time of 10.49 seconds.
The starting line-up in the women’s 100m final at the Prefontaine Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon last weekend was undoubtedly the most fearsome sprints gathering ever to be assembled having featured nine champions who had all ran under sub-eleven seconds.
The line up for the blue-ribbon showdown included Teahna Daniels [USA], Javianne Oliver [USA], Shericka Jackson [Jamaica], Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce [Jamaica], Sha’Carri Richardson [USA], Elaine Thompson-Herah [Jamaica], Marie-Josee Ta-Lou [Ivory Coast], Mujinga Kambundji [Switzerland], and Briana Williams [Jamaica].
Beyond having sub-11 sprinters, the starting squad also had all the three medalists as well as six of the nine finalists in the women’s 100m final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
In the final analysis, Elaine Thompson-Herah teared up her compatriots in an astonishing manner coasting a historical 10.54 seconds to break the meet record [10.70] set by Carmelita Jeter on June 4, 2011. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finished second in 10.73 seconds whiles Shericka Jackson came third in 10.76 seconds.
Having written her name in gold in the history of the women’s 100m already, the Manchester Parish born sprinter [Thompson-Herah] revealed in her post race interview that her next target is to break the late Florence Griffith Joyner’s time of 10.49 seconds, set in 1988.
“You said 10.54 seconds, but I have to give thanks I crossed the line healthy. I was a little bit tired after the championship so to come out here and have another PB is really exciting,” Thompson-Herah joyfully said.
On breaking Flo Jo’s record
“Yes, because I ran 10.61 seconds [at the Olympics] and then 10.54 seconds here [at the Prefontaine Diamond League]. So that means I am close of course so there’s some more work to be done, so [breaking the record] it’s a target of course.”
On whether the track was fast
“Normally people talk about the track is fast or the spike is fast, but I the athlete also has to put in the work in other to get the desired results. So, therefore, it’s a combination of the track, my speed, and my work [training]. But it feels good. The track feels good. My first time competing here after the refurbish of the tracks.”
Did the strong starting list pushed you?
“Honestly, they pushed me to the line because I knew everyone, everyone was coming after me after that Tokyo 2020 performance. So, they helped me to get that 10.54 seconds and I’m really grateful to those amazing ladies because they’re in their hearts out. For me, to go out there and win that race with a royal lead and a Personal Best [PB], I’m really grateful. So, to all those ladies, thank you for helping me to do that.”
Elaine Thompson-Herah established herself as a class sprinter during the Tokyo 2016 Olympic Games in Rio having won gold in the women’s 100m final in 10.71 seconds, ahead of Tori Bowie [10.83], and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce [10.86]. She also clocked 21.78 seconds to win gold in the women’s 200m final, ahead of Dafne Schippers [21.88], and Tori Bowie [22.15].
After battling with series of injuries, Thompson-Herah returned to the Olympics [Tokyo 2020] with a bang, winning gold medals in the women’s 100, and 200m events, becoming the first ever woman to win a double, double Olympic gold.
She was also part of the Jamaica quartet team [Briana Williams, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson] that won gold in the 4x100m relay final.
By James K. Attaglo Wilson