Elaine Thomson

The women’s 100m final at the XXX1 Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was truly one for the ages. It featured seven finalists who were running in an Olympic final for the first time in their careers. Four of them were from the Caribbean – three from Jamaica and one from Trinidad & Tobago.

The Semi-final

The semi-finals were very fast with the second non-automatic qualifying time being 10.96 seconds which would have been good enough for the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic final.

With all of the finalists’ sub-11 second sprinters, they provided good company for the only sprinter who had been to an Olympic 100m final not once but on two occasions – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Fraser-Pryce had cranked it up another notch and showed her class in her semi-final winning in 10.88 seconds improving by 0.08 seconds her season’s best achieved earlier in the heats. Her victory was more impressive because of the way she turned back red-hot flying Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers who ran hard for second in 10.90 seconds.

However, it was her teammate and world 200m silver medallist Elaine Thompson who set tongues wagging after her stunning and effortless 10.88 seconds victory in the 3rd and final semi-final. American Tori Bowie 10.90 won the first semi-final to set up an explosive final.

The Final

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A new Olympic champion was crowned on Saturday night; however, the colour of the flag remained the same as Elaine Thompson running her first 100m final at a major championship crowned herself in glory. Thompson (24) the world leader and heir apparent to Fraser-Pryce won in 10.71 (+0.5 m/s) just 0.01 shy off her personal best.

The new Olympic champion got a brilliant start and her execution and poise throughout the final was exceptional as she took command by the halfway stage.

Thompson had her teammate and defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for company for the first 50m before separating herself from the rest of the field to become only the second woman from Jamaica to win the 100m title.

Behind her was a fiercely contested battle for the next two available spots. American Tori Bowie and Fraser-Pryce locked horns at the 80m mark however the American edged forward in the final strides to grab the silver medal in 10.83 seconds.

The courageous Fraser-Pryce who battled a toe injury all season grabbed the bronze medal ahead of rising Ivorian sprinter Marie-Josee TA Lou who was accredited with the same time of 10.86 seconds. It was a satisfactory result for Fraser-Pryce who lowered her season’s best in every round despite the prevailing challenges she faced coming into the games.

Dafne Schippers one of the medal favourites was back in fifth in 10.90 seconds the same time she ran in the semi-finals, while American Olympic trials champion English Gardner was seventh in 10.94 seconds. The third Jamaican in the final Christania Williams was eight in 11.80 seconds.

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Noel Francis
Noel Francis is without doubt one of the most naturally gifted track & field writers in Jamaica. His passionate, creative, informative and engaging writing style has been recognised and enjoyed worldwide. He started out writing several articles with trackalerts.com in 2013 and his marketability soared with a number of his stories being featured on the US based Track and Field News – The Bible of the Sport. He is now the IAAF correspondent in Jamaica and a regular contributor for the Florida based high school track website Dyestatfl.com. Noel has a first degree in Banking & Finance and works as a Treasury Officer in the financial industry.

1 COMMENT

  1. What happened to Christania? Was she injured or what? I know SAFP was disappointed but I honestly believe she had no right to be. The only person I’ve ever seen do what she did was Bolt last year. She used her rounds to fine tune herself after a season of injuries and under racing.
    The difference in him winning and her taking bronze is that Bolt is primarily a 200m runner and so his top end speed gave him the edge. Pocket Rocket is primarily a 100m runner. The fact that she did no 200m work this year to help her speed endurance was really her undoing. She lost her title in 2011 championships due to injury, she came back stronger and faster. I have no doubt she will do the same again. It’s going to be the Jamaica Show with her and Elaine the dominant forces in women’s sprinting. I am so proud of both of them right now I can’t even properly express it in words. Well done ladies. Well done!

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