Elaine Thompson-Herah etched her name in the pantheon of the all-time greats after completing her second sprint double at an Olympic Games. The Jamaican is the first woman to do it.
Thompson-Herah, who equalled her lifetime best of 21.66 seconds in the semi-final, chopped 0.13 off that time to go second on the all-time list behind world-record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner (21.34).
After running a masterful curve out of lane seven, Thompson-Herah was accompanied by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as they came into the home straight.
However, just as she did in the 100m final a few days earlier, she found that extra gear to disconnect from the field to burst the tape in 21.53 (+0.8 m/s).
Following in Thompson-Herah’s wake were Namibia’s Christine Mboma (21.81) and American Gabrielle Thomas (21.87), who surged ahead of a fading Fraser-Pryce (21.94) in the last thirty metres.
Natoya Goule-Toppin was optimistic going into the women’s 800m final. Moreover, she started well too. However, after a cracking first lap and with 200m to go, it seemed Goule’s fast-paced tactics began to take its toll. Upon entering the home straight she had nothing left in the tank to counter the mad rush that ensued and faded as fast she started finishing eighth in 1:58.26.
There was good news for Jamaica in the sprint hurdles where their three entrants secured safe passage to the semifinals.
In still wind conditions, Ronald Levy coasted to 13.17 seconds (0.0 m/s) to win heat one of the men’s 110m hurdles.
Damion Thomas Jnr, the world U20 record-holder, competing from lane eight showed great determination after clattering the first hurdle and clipping the third and seventh to come through in 13.54 seconds (-2.1 m/s) to finish third in a competitive heat two.
Hansle Parchment finished a clear second in 13.23 seconds (-0.1 m/s) behind world champion Grant Holloway (13.02) in heat three.
Rasheed Dwyer qualified for the men’s 200m final after registering a season’s best 20.13 in his semi-final one.
By Noel Francis