Wednesday 9/29/21
TOKYO OLYMPICS

Imperious Thompson-Herah beats Fraser-Pryce for second 100m gold

Poland meanwhile were somewhat surprise winners in the inaugural 4x400m mixed relay while world champion Daniel Stahl led a Swedish one-two in the men's discus
31 July 2021, Japan, Tokyo: Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah (R) and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce compete in the Women's 100m Final of the athletics competition at the Olympic Stadium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/dpa.
Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah (R) and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce compete in the Women's 100m Final. Photo: Martin Rickett/dpa.

Elaine Thompson-Herah denied Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce an unprecedented third gold when she led a historic Jamaican sweep for back-to-back Olympic 100 metres titles on Saturday, clocking the joint-second fastest time in history.

Thompson-Herah ran 10.61 seconds to beat the 2008 and 2012 champion Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson completed the first full medal sweep for a nation in the race.

The Jamaicans had also occupied the 2008 podium, winning gold and two silvers with no bronze awarded.

Poland meanwhile were somewhat surprise winners in the inaugural 4x400m mixed relay while world champion Daniel Stahl led a Swedish one-two in the men's discus.

Thompson-Herah, 29, had won a sprint double and relay silver in 2016 and she was fastest again in the empty National Stadium, bettering the Olympic record of American great Florence Griffith-Joyner by one-hundredth of a second.

"I couldn't find the words. I screamed so loud because I was so happy," she said.

Looking at her fast time, she added: "I knew I had it in me but obviously I've had my ups and downs with injuries. I've been keeping faith all this time. It is amazing."

Only Griffith-Joyner has run faster than Thompson-Herah with her world record 10.49 seconds in 1988. FloJo also has a 10.61.

Thompson-Herah pulled away in the closing stages for a clear victory as 34-year-old Fraser-Pryce crossed the line 11-hundredths off her season and personal best in 10.74 seconds, falling short of emulating mighty compatriot Usain Bolt who has won the men's race three times.

"It wasn’t to be, but I’m still really grateful that I was able to come to my fourth Olympic Games, to make the final and walk away with the silver medal," said Fraser-Pryce, who now has seven Olympic medals.

Jackson recorded a personal best 10.76 for bronze while rivals United States managed no better than seventh from Teahna Daniels while their top runner Sha'Carri Richardson missed the Olympics after testing positive for cannabis.

Poland, Sweden

31 July 2021, Japan, Tokyo: Poland's Kajetan Duszynski celebrates as he crosses the finish line to claim the gold medal for his team in the 4 x 400m Relay Mixed Final of the athletics competition at the Olympic Stadium, during Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Oliver Weiken/dpaPoland's Kajetan Duszynski celebrates as he crosses the finish line. Photo: Oliver Weiken/dpa.

Polish anchor Kajetan Duszynski meanwhile proved strongest on the home stretch to win the relay gold together with Karol Zalewski, Natalia Kaczmarek and two-time European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic in 3 minutes 9.87 seconds.

Long-time leaders Dominican Republic got silver one-hundredth of a second ahead of world champions and world record holders the United States, who had to be content with bronze after originally being disqualified after the heat but later reinstated.

"I can't believe it. It is a dream since childhood. It has come true. It's such a great feeling," the elated Duszynski said.

31 July 2021, Japan, Tokyo: Sweden's Daniel Stahl in action during the Men's Discus Throw Final at Olympic Stadium as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpaSweden's Daniel Stahl in action during the Men's Discus Throw Final. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa.

Daniel Stahl lived up to his top billing to get a first-ever discus for Sweden with 68.90 metres. Compatriot Simon Pettersson took silver and bronze went to Lukas Weisshaidinger, the first Austrian man to win an Olympic athletics medal.

In preliminary action the men started their search for a successor to Bolt and season leader Trayvon Bromell of the US only made the semis after an almighty scare, having finished a mere fourth in his heat and only through via his time of 10.05 seconds.

"I have no words for it. It don't look like I actually pushed myself and that is going to be the thing my coach is mad about," Bromell said.

Compatriots Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley were untroubled along with Canada's 2016 bronze medallist Andre de Grasse and former world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica.

Swedish world record holder Armand Duplantis made the pole vault final, so did long-time rival Renaud Lavillenie of France after missing his opening height twice, and 2016 winner Thiago Braz of Brazil. American two-time world champion Sam Kendricks is missing after a positive coronavirus test.

World record holder Sydney McLaughlin and fellow American world and Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad breezed through the 400m hurdles heats.

Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria led long jump qualifying with an impressive 8.50m, a result good enough for gold at the last three Games. World champion Tajay Gayle of Jamaica also made it despite being severely hampered by what appeared to be a knee injury.

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