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Elaine Thompson smashes field to land Olympic 100m gold as Fraser-Pryce bags bronze

Fraser-Pryce, who won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2012, claimed bronze in a season’s best 10.86 seconds despite a niggling toe injury all season. American Tori Bowie separated the Jamaicans and took silver in 10.83 seconds.

Thompson, who hails from Banana Ground in Manchester, got a good start, and by the time she came out of her drive phase full of running, she went by her MVP training partner Fraser-Pryce and moved away for a most impressive victory. Fraser-Pryce, who led briefly, just missed the silver medal as she faded towards the end.

After waiting 60 years for their first success in the Olympic 100m, Jamaica, with a population of just under three million people, have now won the gold medal for a third-consecutive edition.

It was joy unconfined for Thompson, who just missed equalling her own national record of 10.70 seconds set last month, but is undoubtedly the fastest woman in the world. Her scream of joy could be heard around the Olympic Stadium.

“I mean I wasn’t the quickest out of the blocks, but I was in my drive phase and that just gave me a push to execute, and that’s what I did,” explained an elated Thompson.

“When I crossed the line and glanced across to see I was clear I didn’t quite know how to celebrate,” she added.

The Manchester High past student, now under the guidance of top coach Stephen Francis at MVP, won silver in the 200m at the World Championships last year and the signs were there that she would more than likely be the one to dethrone Fraser-Pryce.

“I am very excited and so happy. Jamaica has so many talented sprinters, and to be the second champion but as long as it remains Jamaica I am happy and excited,” said Thompson.

Meanwhile, Fraser-Pryce was gracious in defeat and had high praises for her training partner.

“I am really happy for her and I have seen her work hard, and it was her time. In 2008 it was my time, in 2016 it’s her time and I am happy that Jamaica gets to keep the gold medal,” said Fraser-Pryce.

She also explained her struggles with the niggling toe injury which might have cost her at least the silver.

“It was really difficult. I cried because it was really unbearable, but I knew I had one more race to go and I just prayed and said ‘God, if it’s to be, it will be,’ and I am really happy,” she explained.

“I am really happy to be standing on the podium after having a year like this,” she added.

Meanwhile, Damar Forbes was 12th in the long jump with a leap of 7.82 metres, in the event won by American Jeff Henderson with 8.38m. Luvo Manyonga of South Africa grabbed silver with 8.37m. Greg Rutherford of Great Britain took bronze with 8.29m.

And amidst the joy in the Jamaican camp were disappointments, as both Javon Francis and Rusheen McDonald failed to secure final berths in the 400m semi-finals on a night when Jamaica’s quarter-milers showed how far behind the rest of the world they are lagging.

Francis finished fifth in semi-final one in 44.96 seconds running from lane one. The race was won by an impressive Kirani James of Grenada in a season best 44.02 seconds while looking all over the place in the last 50m. American LaShawn Merritt was second in 44.21, with Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago in third with 44.47 seconds. Luguelin Santos was fourth with 44.71 seconds.

The three semi-finals were won by Caribbean athletes as Machel Cedenio of Trindad and Tobago took the second semi-final in 44.30 seconds ahead of world champion Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa in 44.45 seconds. Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic was third in 45.06 seconds. Jamaica’s McDonald was sixth in a disappointing 46.12 seconds.

Grenada’s Bralon Taplin won semi-final three in 44.44 seconds ahead of Matthew Hudson-Smith with 44.48. Ali Khamis of Bahrain was third in 44.49 seconds.


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