Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah underlined her status as one of the greatest female sprinters of all time with an unbelievable 10.54-second clocking to win the Women’s 100m at the Prefontaine Classic, a leg of the Wanda Diamond League, in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.
There was a big pre-race hype surrounding the event, which was billed as the best ever Women’s 100m line-up. This is because it featured several finalists from the Women’s 100m event at the Tokyo Games last month, with the addition of the United States’ Sha’Carri Richardson, who missed the Olympics because of a 30-day doping ban for cannabis use.
The Hayward track is regarded as the fastest in the world and anticipation was that something special would happen with the classy line-up. However, it was a one-woman show as Thompson-Herah, who was off to a fast start, blew away the field to again make history as Richardson was no where to be found. It was a repeat of the top three finish in Tokyo as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (silver in Tokyo, 10.73s yesterday), and Shericka Jackson (bronze in Tokyo) in a personal best 10.76 seconds second and third to made it a trifecta for Jamaica as Richardson finished ninth in 11.14s. Young Briana Williams, the other Jamaican in the event was eighth in 11.09s.
The time done by Thompson-Herah erased her previous best of 10.61 done in winning the Olympic title in Tokyo. It broke several records as it was a world-leading, meet record, Diamond League record, and national record as she edges close to the US’ late Florence Griffith Joyner’s world record of 10.49s, set in 1988.
Thompson-Herah, who was in disbelief when she saw her winning time several seconds after the finish, was humble in victory.
“To come back with a PB after the Olympics, that is amazing,” she said. “I haven’t run that fast in five years. It means a lot to me because my job is to inspire a generation. I have more races, so I don’t get too excited, too carried away. I have to continue doing the job.”
Richardson said after the race that she will get over the result.
“Coming back today, it was a great return to the sport,” she said in a post-race interview with NBC Sports. “I was able to come and perform after having a month off and dealing with all I was dealing with. I am not upset with myself at all, as this is just one race and I am not done. You know what I’m capable of. Count me out if you want to, talk all the s*** you want, ‘cause I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth-fastest woman in this game, ever, and can’t nobody ever take that away from me.”
Richardson subsequently pulled out of the Women’s 200m event which was to take place later in the meet. (Jamaica Gleaner)