Defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah led home a Jamaican clean sweep in the Olympic women’s 100 metres final, posting an amazing 10.61 seconds to become the second-fastest woman in history.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who had been seeking a third gold in the event, took silver in 10.74 with Shericka Jackson third in 10.76 at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
“I am really excited to come back and retain my title. My chest hurts, I am so happy,” said Thompson-Herah, whose time has only been bettered by world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner at 10.49 in the 1988 Olympics.
Fraser-Pryce took time away from the sport to have a baby but arrived in Tokyo on the back of a sizzling 10.63 run – the fastest time this year.
She started the race strongly, nosing ahead of the field but Thompson-Herah caught up and after the pair raced neck and neck it was the latter who surged ahead with about 40 metres remaining.
Thompson-Herah, wearing a glittering headband, started celebrating before she crossed the line with her left hand raised and she continued her sprint for some distance before lying on the track in jubilation.
The organisers added to the mood of the evening by switching off the lights and lighting up the 100m stretch of the track before introducing the eight sprinters, and six of them finished in less than 11 seconds in a blistering race.
Thompson-Herah had earlier given a clue she was in prime form with a dominant display in the semi-finals, romping home in 10.76 despite easing up well before the finish line.
Jamaica also swept the women’s 100 metres medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Thompson-Herah, who also won the 200m in 2016, has two golds and Fraser-Pryce two golds, a silver and a bronze.
“I couldn’t find the words. I screamed so loud because I was so happy,” said Thompson-Herah, who will also attempt to retain her 200m title in Tokyo.
“Last month I didn’t think I would stand here to retain my title. I’ve struggled with my (Achilles) injury for five years and for me to stay focused, hold my composure … there’s nothing more to prove.”