Elaine Thompson-Herah has left the world in awe after a stunning victory in the final of the women's 100m sprint at the Tokyo Games on Saturday night.
The Jamaican defending champion from the Rio Games set a new Olympic record after claiming gold in a blistering 10.61 seconds.
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Compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.74) and Shericka Jackson (10.76) claimed silver and bronze respectively to make it a Jamaican clean sweep.
Ivorian Marie-Josée Ta Lou again missed out on a podium place after finishing fourth.
The blue ribbon event was billed as one of the most eagerly anticipated races at the Olympic Games and Saturday night's final lived up to those lofty expectations.
In one of the most hotly contested fields of any race in Tokyo, Thompson-Herah reigned supreme to clinch her place in history.
The defending champion was pushed all the way by Fraser-Pryce, who qualified fastest in her bid to become the first woman to win three Olympic 100m gold medals.
The 34-year-old, who won gold in Beijing and London, took some time away from the sport to have a baby but arrived in Tokyo as the hot favourite after clocking an astonishing 10.63 seconds last month.
World erupts over new Olympic record
However, Thompson-Herah went even better on Saturday night, with her time eclipsing the previous Olympic record of 10.62 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1998 Games in Seoul.
The extraordinary run set the internet alight as viewers flooded social media to praise the Jamaican.
— Godwin Nathaniel (ANIPR) (@Naplaymaker) July 31, 2021
ELAINE THOMPSON-HERAH AND A NEW OLYMPIC RECORD?!?! ABSOLUTELY INSANEEEEEE
— SashiMAI (@maiahgoodness) July 31, 2021
What a final. Thompson-Herah the fastest woman ever*. Fraser-Pryce is already a GOAT. Jackson a 100m/400m medalist.Ta-Lou so so so unlucky. Just insane running. The first 2 days of athletics have been epic. #Athletics #Tokyo2020
— Andrew Boocock (@AndrewBoocock) July 31, 2021
Thompson-Herah wooooow 😳🔥 I wanted Fraser-Pryce but Elaine’s time the second fastest EVER 😱🇯🇲 atmosphere between them slightly off though 🤷🏻♀️
— Nicola (@nicolawidgeryyy) July 31, 2021
Oh my god. Thompson-Herah what an incredible sprint. Jamaica goes 1-2-3. Incredible.
— Ethan Budowsky (@ethanbudowsky) July 31, 2021
Elaine Thompson-Herah's time of 10.61 makes her the second fastest woman in history.
Only American Florence Griffith-Joyner has run faster, with her world record 10.49 in 1988.
— IG@Stockpickersacademy #LearnToInvest 🇬🇧🇳🇬🇬🇬 (@ManLikeDebs) July 31, 2021
— Alysia Wms (@AlysiaWms) July 31, 2021
This was the first Jamaican sweep of the medals since the women did it at the 2008 Beijing Games – a feat somewhat overshadowed that week by the record-setting performance of Usain Bolt.
But really, there is no overlooking the Jamaican women, who actually have a longer history of sprint success than the men in the island country.
Fraser-Pryce finished on top in that 2008 race, and completed her Olympic set in the 100, where she now has two golds (′08, ′12), a silver and a bronze (′16).
Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah are headed for a possible rematch in the 200, where Thompson-Herah is also the defending champion.
This had been shaping up as a fast race for days, if not months. In June, Fraser-Pryce ran the fourth-fastest time in history at 10.63 seconds.
And when the sprinters arrived in Japan, they discovered a fast track at Olympic Stadium. In the semifinals earlier Saturday, the Jamaicans all cracked 10.8 to get on the list of the 10 best times in Olympic history.
Then, it was Thompson-Herah’s turn to make history.
Flo Jo’s records are older than virtually every sprinter in the women’s game, save Fraser-Pryce, who was born about 18 months before the American set the marks.
Griffith Joyner’s world record, the 10.49, is still out there, and no other woman has ever broken 10.60.
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