Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah ran 10.54 seconds in the 100M at the Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon, to go within 0.05 seconds of Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old 100m world record. Thompson-Herah clocked the second fastest time in history to leave everyone speechless.
Coming into the race, there was a feeling of excitement and anticipation amongst all in attendance as a world class field including six finalists from the Tokyo Games took their mark. Amongst the field was also Sha’carri Richardson who controversially was suspended from the Olympic Games after being tested positive for marijuana.
With nearly perfect weather conditions, fast times were expected, but not that fast.
The irrepressible Elaine Thompson-Herah, fresh from her amazing double at the Olympic Game, produced yet another exquisite display of sprinting.
Flo-Jo 10.49 🆚 @fastelaine 10.54— PJ Vazel (@pjvazel) August 21, 2021
In @tokyo2020 ETH won the @olympics🥇with 10.61 into a w0.4m/s after a 60m in 6.87, exactly the same time as Flo-Jo during her 10.49 in Indianapolis 1988.
So I’m really curious what was her splits today at @preclassic @Diamond_League pic.twitter.com/Tn3K5YAe2B
Running in lane six, Thompson-Herah and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in lane four, got off to blistering starts and began to pull away from the field at the halfway mark. However, as she did in Tokyo, Thompson-Herah unleashed a burst of speed that, for the moment and near future, is unmatched to win in a jaw dropping 10.54 seconds (+0.9 m/s). Last month Thompson-Herah clocked 10.61 to put her second on the all time list but in Oregon, she eclipsed that in some style.
It was very much a repeat of the Olympic final with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson finishing second and third, respectively.
Since 1988, Flo Jo’s record seemed unbreakable. Now Thompson-Herah is in touching distance. “I think the records are in reach because I ran 10.5 and I have so much more in me. I don’t want to get carried away – the celebrations will start in October and November, but for now, I have a mission to complete!”
Not bad for a diamond league season 100m opener. New PB, NR, DLR second fastest time ever. Thank you all so much for the love and support. Continuous improvement is the order of the day. 😘 #Hiswill #HisGlory #HistoryBooks #Faith#Fearless pic.twitter.com/MAWniHKgKh— Elaine Thompson Herah (@FastElaine) August 21, 2021
The homecrowd favourite, Sha’Carri Richardson, was expected to challenge the Jamacians but instead she finished last in 11.14 in her first race back following a one-month ban.
Richardson, 21, was defiant despite the underwhelming result, describing it as “a great return back to the sport”.
“This is one race,” Richardson said. “I’m not done. You know what I’m capable of. Count me out if you want to. Talk all the shit you want. Because I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth fastest woman in this game ever and can’t nobody ever take that from me.”
She added: “I wanted to be able to come and perform after having a month off and dealing with all I was dealing with. I’m not upset with myself at all.”