- Thompson, 24, pulls away at the 50m mark to win in 10.71sec
- USA’s Tori Bowie takes silver and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce settles for bronze
Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson surged to the women’s 100m gold medal in 10.71sec to spoil countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s bid for a third straight Olympic title.
The 24-year-old pulled away at the 50m mark from Fraser-Pryce, who had captured gold in the event at the last two Olympics and settled for the bronze with a season-best time of 10.86. Tori Bowie of the United States came from behind to take silver with a time of 10.83.
“When I crossed the line and glanced across to see I was clear (I) didn’t quite know how to celebrate,” Thompson said afterwards. ”There is a big screen back home in my community in Jamaica. I can’t imagine what is happening there right now.”
Thompson, who had won silver in the 200m and gold in the 4x100 relay at the world championships last year, entered Saturday night’s final at the Olympic Stadium having posted the fastest time of the year with a 10.70 at the Jamaican national trials, where Fraser-Pryce ran 10.94 while battling a sore toe.
Now the sprinter who failed to make her high school’s athletics team is the world’s fastest woman.
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Fraser-Pryce, who had run 10.88 in the semi-finals with hair dyed in Jamaica’s colors of green and yellow, was upbeat despite falling short of her historic goal.
“What I’m most happy about is that the 100m title is staying in Jamaica,” said the 29-year-old, who pipped Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast by a scant .007 for third. “I’m on the podium with my training partner. I’m proud of Jamaica: just look at my hair.
“I am really happy for her. I’ve seen her work hard and it was her time. In 2008 it was my time, 2016 it is her time.”
Jamaica has now accounted for seven of the nine medals awarded in the event at the last three Olympics. Fraser-Pryce, who carried her country’s flag in last week’s opening ceremony, moves level with countrywoman Merlene Ottey with three medal’s in the women’s 100m.
Bowie, a former long jumper who two years ago committed to sprinting, was elated with her second-place finish.
“I’m extremely excited,” said the 25-year-old Mississippian, who will try for a second medal in the 200m starting with Monday’s preliminary heats. “It’s a little overwhelming, first time being here and then you win a silver medal.
“It makes me a little bit more motivated. I came here hungry, I came here determined to leave with a gold medal and I didn’t do that today but this just makes me a little bit more motivated for Monday.”
Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers, the world 200m champion, finished fifth, while American English Gardner came in eighth with a time of 10.94, well behind the 10.74 that she’d run for the year’s second-fastest time at the US trials in July.