Photo: Elaine Thompson reacts to winning gold in the women's 100m final at the Rio Olympics on Saturday night. The 24 year old dethroned her teammate and training partner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to win the fastest women's 100m final race in history in a time of 10.71 (Getty images)
Elaine Thompson crowned herself in glory on Saturday night when she became only the second Jamaican female to win gold in the 100m at the Olympic Games. She prevailed in a sparkling 10.71 seconds against a quality field of sprinters in the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to end the reign of training partner and mentor, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The time was also 100th of a second outside of her recent national record and personal best run of 10.70 done at the 2016 National Senior Championships in June.
The Manchester native ran a very composed race to defeat one of the most stacked 100m field's in the women’s event, setting a new Olympic final best time of 10.71 seconds.
The previous best time was held by dethroned champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce at 10.75 seconds done in London in 2012.
Moving from an 11.17 seconds personal best in 2014 to now sitting atop the Jamaican rankings with 10.70 seconds, it was a supremely confident Thompson who held her form and executed a very good race to secure her first Olympic medal. Stuck in the middle of the pack after coming out of her blocks slowly, the 23 year old held her drive phase, before straightening up and powering past the field of experienced Olympic runners before streaking away to win by a wide margin.
Fraser secured her fifth Olympic medal, but it was not to be the three-peat that a lot of persons were keenly anticipating from the joint national record holder. After what appeared to be a badly aggravated toe in the semifinal where she ran 10.88 seconds to win, the diminutive sprinter defied the odds to secure the bronze in a season best time of 10.86 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce was bidding to separate herself from the group of three including Wyomia Tyus (1960,1964) and Gail Devers (1992, 1996) as women to successfully defend their Olympic 100m crown.
American Torrie Bowie rallied to separate the Jamaicans, with a 10.83 run for the silver medal. The highly talked about Daphne Schippers from the Netherlands was only good enough for 5th spot in 10.90 seconds.
Jamaica’s third competitor Christiania Williams slowed to 11.80 seconds to finish at the back of the field after what appeared to be a cramp in the hamstrings or quadriceps.
Damar Forbes, competing in his second Olympics, managed to secure a berth in the long jump final but was no where near his season's best or personal best effort. His best mark of 7.82m was only good enough for twelfth place in the finals. The event was won by Jeff Henderson of the United States of America with a leap of 8.38m on his final attempt, moving ahead of South African Luvo Manyounga 8.37m and defending champion Greg Rutherford of Great Britain 8.29m.
The Jamaican entrants in the 400m semi-finals failed in their bid for a final spot in the Men’s showpiece after Javon Francis, running from lane one in heat one placed fourth in 44.96 seconds. The race was won by defending Olympic Champion, Grenada’s Kirani James in 44.02 with the USA’S Lashawn Merritt 44.21 finishing second.
National record holder Rusheen McDonald, running in heat two, finished sixth in a pedestrian 46.12 seconds, behind event winner Machel Cedeno of Trinidad and Tobago in 44.39 seconds and South African Wade Vany Nerk 44.45 seconds.
The final will also feature Caribbean interest in Grenada’s Bralon Toplin who won the third heat in 44.44 seconds.
Other outstanding performances on the night came via the men’s 10,000m final which was won by Great Britain’s Mohamed Farah 27:05.17 seconds and Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam who racked up a new national record of 6810 points to dethrone Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis Hill in the women’s Heptathlon.