Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaica’s two-time Olympic Games sprint double champion, took another giant step toward immortality in the 100m yesterday when she lowered her national record and world-leading time to 10.54 seconds (0.9m/s) after destroying a quality field at the refurbished Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Thompson-Herah dropped her own national mark of 10.61 seconds, which she set in the Olympic finals on July 31, and added Diamond League and meeting records to her resume.
Thompson-run Herah’s is the quickest in 33 years, when American Florence Griffiths-Joyner set the World record in the second round of the 1988 US Trials in Indianapolis with a time of 10.49 seconds.
Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.73 seconds), and Shericka Jackson, who lowered her personal best to 10.76 seconds, had their first appearance since the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Brianna Williams, who had teamed up with them to win the 4x100m relay gold medal in Tokyo, placed eighth in 11.09 seconds, with American Sha’Carri Richardson fading to ninth in 11.14 seconds.
Richardson’s first race since winning the US Trials on the same track in late June, but was stripped of her title and suspended for a month after failing a drug test, and she also missed the Olympic Games.
The 21-year-old was seen as the runner to end American global mediocrity in the short sprints after running 10.72 seconds, the sixth-fastest time ever, in April and two more sub 10.80-second times in May.
It was Thompson-moment Herah’s to shine, though, as she raced away from the field to stamp her class and authority after the race was held up when American Teahna Daniels held up her hands and begged for a reset.
After the race, she commented, “It’s fantastic to come back with a PB [personal best] after the championships.” “It means a lot to me…my goal is to influence a generation,” she says. I have other races coming up, so I’m not going to get too worked up. I have to keep doing my job.”
Fraser-Pryce acknowledged that the race did not go as planned, but that she had a strong run.
She told reporters after the race, “If you’re going out there, you’re expecting to win.” “Though things didn’t go exactly as planned, I believe I ran a decent race.” There are still things I need to work on, so you take that lesson and move on to the next one,” she explained.
“Coming out today, it was a terrific return back to the sport,” Richardson remarked after the race when interviewed on national television. After taking a month off and dealing with everything, I wanted to be able to come back and perform. I’m not angry with myself in the least.”
In the women’s 800m, Natoya Goule of Jamaica finished third in 1:57.71 seconds, significantly behind Olympic champion Athing Mu, who blew the field away to win in a new American record 1:55.04 seconds, and ahead of another American Kate Grace, who finished second in 1:57.60 seconds.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, all three Jamaicans finished in the bottom half of the race, with Olympic finalist Janieve Russell fourth in 54.50 seconds, Ronda Whyte seventh in 55.57 seconds, and Leah Nugent eighth in 55.86 seconds.
Olympic silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad won in a meet record 52.77 seconds, followed by Shamier Little of the United States in second with 53.79 seconds and Gianna Woodruff of Panama in third with 54.20 seconds.