Elaine on the Double

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah made history on Tuesday, August 03 at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan with an eye popping 200 metres victory. The 29 year-old sprinter broke a 30 year-old national record set by Merlene Ottey and became the first woman to win the 100 and 200 metres double, twice at the Olympics. Her performance extended the nation's fine tradition in the 200 metres.

Elaine Thompson Herah3A 21.66 second personal best in the semi-final proved to be a preview of things to come. In the final Thompson-Herah exploded from the blocks, glided around the turn and reached the straight ahead of compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She kept going strongly to finish in 21.53 seconds, the second fastest time in history. 

The previous Jamaican record of 21.64 seconds - was set by Ottey in 1992, a year before Elaine was born.

Behind Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce was run down first by Namibian Christine Mboma who took the silver with a World Under 20 record of 21.81 seconds and USA champion Gabrielle Thomas, Shelly-Ann finished the race in fourth position despite her second fastest time over the distance - 21.94 seconds 

“It’s been a rough week,” said Thompson-Herah. “I’m super tired, I hardly slept after the 100m. My legs really need a rest now because we ran two rounds of the 200m in one day yesterday, which isn’t normally the case. To run a national record, I’m so, so happy.”

Matched her 100 metres title defense on July 31, Thompson became the first woman in Olympic history to win the sprint double twice. 

Her 200 metres win extended Jamaica's fine record in the event. Starting with a bronze for Ottey in 1980, Jamaica has now won 4 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals in the 200. This glowing medal haul includes 2 gold medals won by Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2004 and 2008 and silver medals for Grace Jackson, Juliet Cuthbert, Ottey and Fraser-Pryce.

Ottey in 1980, 1984 and 1992, Beverly McDonald in 2000 and Kerron Stewart in 2008 garnered Jamaica's collection of bronze medals.

The tradition began in Tokyo at the 1964 Olympics when school girl Una Morris rode a series of national records to fourth place in the final.  



Login to post comments