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Thompson-Herah seals ‘double-double’ with 200m gold

TOKYO: Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrates with the flag of Jamaica after winning the women’s 200m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo yesterday. – AFP

TOKYO: Elaine Thompson-Herah made Olympic history in Tokyo yesterday, emulating fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt to complete an unprecedented women’s sprinting “double-double” with victory in the 200 meters. Thompson-Herah, the 2016 Olympics 100m and 200m gold medalist who defended her 100m title on Saturday, sealed a record fourth individual gold after storming home in a blistering 21.53sec. Namibian teenager Christine Mboma took silver in 21.81sec while the USA’s Gabby Thomas won bronze in 21.87sec.

The 29-year-old Thompson-Herah’s time was the second fastest in history after Florence Griffith Joyner’s world record of 21.34sec set at the drug-tarnished 1988 Seoul Olympics. As well as becoming the first woman to claim a 100m-200m double-double, emulating Bolt, who eventually won three consecutive 100m-200m Olympic titles, Thompson-Herah is the only female track and field athlete to win four individual Olympic track golds. “It really means a lot to me to be in that history book, because I’ve been through a lot and it tells my story,” Thompson-Herah said.

The Jamaican favorite had got off to a blazing start, building a lead off the bend which she never relinquished as she motored to the line. It looked as if Thomas and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce would take the silver and bronze, but that duo were passed by a scorching finish over the final 20 meters from the 18-year-old Mboma who plundered silver. “The mission was to go again and capture the medal, which was the plan,” said Thompson-Herah.

Thompson-Herah had faced a battle to qualify for Tokyo, with a niggling Achilles problem hampering her fitness earlier this season. She finished third in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican trials behind Fraser-Pryce, who had entered the Olympics as Jamaica’s main threat. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Thompson-Herah said. “I don’t want to get too excited, because I haven’t slept since the 100m final. I don’t know how I’ve done it, I’ve been laying down, not sleeping but I’ve still managed to come out here.”

Thompson-Herah revealed she is now eyeing Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old world record. “I will continue to dominate,” she said. “I wish I could show you my phone right now. My notes each day that I go through have my ‘hymns’ that I have written down: PB, world lead, world record and to defend my title. So I can tick three things off.”

Namibian teen Mboma was only running the 200m because she and compatriot Beatrice Masilingi, who finished sixth in 22.28sec, are barred from their preferred distance of 400m under international rules because they have heightened testosterone levels. Under World Athletics regulations, they would have to undergo treatment to lower their testosterone if they want to compete in distances from 400m to a mile. – AFP


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