That 100-meter Olympic gold medal is heading back to Jamaica, only this time in the hands of Elaine Thompson, the 24-year-old who took down America’s best, to say nothing of her training partner, two-time defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Thompson turned what was supposed to be one of the most competitive races on the Olympic programme into a runaway. Running even at the halfway mark with Fraser-Pryce and Tori Bowie of the United States, Thompson pulled away over the last half and defeated Bowie with a bookshelf-sized slice of daylight in between.
Thompson finished in 10.71 seconds, a full .12 seconds better than Bowie and only .01 off the time she ran to beat Fraser-Pryce at Jamaica’s national championships last month.
Thompson’s 10.70 in Kingston was the best of five sub-10.8 women’s sprints this year and served notice that things could be changing once the sprinters reached Rio.
“Jamaica has so many talented sprinters,” Thompson said. “To be the second champion, I’m really happy.”