Tokyo Olympics: Thompson-Herah didn't have record in mind in storming 100m final showing

By Sports Desk July 31, 2021

Elaine Thompson-Herah insists she did not have any record in mind after her stunning victory in the women's 100 metres final at Tokyo 2020.

The Jamaican defended the title she won at Rio 2016 in sensational fashion, sprinting home in an Olympic-record time of 10.61 seconds to deny Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce becoming the first woman to win the same athletics event at three different Games.

It was the first time Thompson-Herah, who has endured a frustrating time with Achilles injuries since her crowning moment in Rio five years ago, had run below 10.7s.

But the 29-year-old was focused only on winning and believes her benchmark will too eventually be broken.

"Going into the final I didn't have a time in my head, I was just trying to execute the best race and I had the best race tonight because I got the PB," she told a post-race news conference.

"I wasn't looking at any record or any time as I said. But eventually those times will erase, even if it takes four or five years they will [be] erased [by] somebody. 

"Other women are coming up, rising, so to run this Olympic record tonight sends out a message anything is possible."

Fraser-Pryce had been the favourite to win the 100m for a third time in her decorated career but had to settle for silver, while Shericka Jackson completed a Jamaica one, two, three.

Thompson-Herah hailed Fraser-Pryce, who said this will be her final Olympics, as a benchmark in the sport.

"I wasn't checking the stats [of my races against Fraser-Pryce] I wasn't even counting," she added.

"She's a talented and a great athlete of course. She set the barrier for us younger generation coming through. As for a mum, she's soon to walk away from the sport, she's left her mark."

On the race itself, which saw Fraser-Pryce tense up over the last 30m with her rival right on her shoulder, Thompson-Herah confessed she had some nerves at the starting block.

"I've not seen the race as yet, I was super nervous but I had to control it. I knew all eight ladies were nervous," she said.

"We had done everything we could have done there is nothing else I could change. I think I had the best race tonight, I don't know if there is more to come but [I have] a PB and Olympic record so therefore tonight is the best race."

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