Photo: A shocked Elaine Thompson reacts after crossing the line in fifth position in the Women's 100m final at the World Championships in London on Sunday. Tori Bowie won in 10.85s.
The doom and gloom continued on day three of the IAAF World Championships on Jamaica’s Independence Day as odds on favourite for the women’s 100m gold, Elaine Thompson finished fifth in 10.98s in the final, less than two hours after easing to 10.84s in her semifinal.
The Olympic champion stumbled when coming out of her drive phase and was unable to recover and close the gap on eventual winner Tori Bowie of the USA who won in a season’s best 10.85. Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast was second in 10.86 (pb) and Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands third in 10.96. Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast was fourth, also in 10.98s.
There is cause for hope for the Caribbean nation however, as both 110 hurdles semifinalists, Omar McLeod and Hansle Parchment made it through to Monday’s final. McLeod won semifinal one in 13.10s, overcoming a sluggish start based on his standards to power away from the field in the end. Parchment had another of his notoriously slow starts but used his long legs to claw back the field midrace and end second in 13.27s, behind race winner Shane Brathwaite of Barbados in 13.26.
Both athletes in the Men’s 400m also advanced from their semifinals while running personal bests. Nathon Allen ran out of lane six in heat one placed between Bahamian national record holder Steven Gardiner in five and American Collegiate Champion Fred Kerley. Kerley led the race after 200m and Gardiner made his move with 150 meters to go passing Allen then Kerley to lead into the home stretch.
Allen remained calm and made his move with 80 meters to go, passing Kerley who he had lost to all season on the collegiate circuit. Gardiner was first over the line in a new national record and personal best of 43.89, Allen second in 44.19 and Fred Kerley a distant third in 44.51.
Like his teammate Allen, Demish Gaye ran out of lane six in heat three, in between Isaac Makwala of Botswana and Gil Roberts of the USA. Makwala expectedly took control of the race passing Gaye at about the same place that Gardiner had passed Allen and just like his teammate had done in heat one, Gaye remained composed.
As Makwala surged ahead going into the home straight, Gaye pushed forward and passed Roberts who was just ahead of him and closed on the African with each stride to run yet another personal best. Makwala was first in 44.30, Gaye second in 44.55 and Gill third in 44.84 as the first two advanced to Tuesday’s final.
For the first time in the history of the world championships, Jamaica will have two men in the final of the 400m, showing the improvement made in that area over the past few years.
The nation will be holding its collective breath on Monday in hopes that Jamaica will be able to celebrate their first gold medal of the London World Championships.