Photo: Elaine Thompson celebrates with the Jamaican flag after winning the 200m at the Rio Olympic Games on Wednesday night. The 24 year old became the first Jamaican woman to claim the 100m-200m sprint double at the Olympic Games. (Getty Images)
A very determined Elaine Thompson shrugged of the challenge of rival Dafne Schippers to claim her second gold medal and Jamaica's fourth, at the Rio Olympic Games on Wednesday night. Having gotten the better of the Dutchwoman in the 100m final on Saturday night, the pressure was on Thompson to repeat. But Schippers started favourite, having won the duel in the 200m semi-final the night before and had the added advantage of running out of lane four while Thompson lined up in six, while American Tori Bowie separated them in lane 5.
Thompson was fast out of her blocks at the sound of the gun, covering Trinidadian Michelle Lee Ahye in lane seven with her first few strides. The Olympic 100m champion came off the turn ahead of the field and held her form and composure as she headed for the line. With Schippers closing fast, the 24 year old Jamaican dug deep to resist the World Champion’s best efforts, seemingly finding another gear with five meters to go, as she held on to claim a famous victory in 21.78s, while Schippers finished second in 21.88 and Bowie finished a distant third in 22.15.
The final few meters was the exact opposite of a year ago where Thompson faded in the home stretch of the World Championships 200m final and was passed by Schippers late on. This time around, Thompson’s added strength and superior top end speed, made all the difference as she became the first woman since Florence Griffith Joiner (Flo Jo) of the USA to win the sprint double at the Olympic Games.
No other Jamaican woman has acccoplished what Thompson has done.
But while Jamaica celebrated the success of Thompson they had to deal with the disappointment in the women’s 100m hurdles as all three ladies failed to advance to the finals. Neither, Shermaine Williams, Nickiesha Wilson nor Megan Simmonds were able to navigate tough semi-final draws.
In the men’s 200m semis, only Usain Bolt qualified for the final as Nickel Ashmeade and Yohan Blake found the going tough. Ashmeade finished 4th in heat one in 20.31 while Blake was sixth in heat three in 20.37.
The final track event for the evening saw the US women sweep the 100m hurdles final. Brianna Rollins was first in 12.48, Nia Ali was second in 12.59 and Kristi Castlin third in 12.61.
Jamaica’s middle distance runners struggled in the heat of the morning session as the women all failed to advance out of their respective heats in the 800m, while the same fate befell Kemoy Campbell in the 5000m.
Usain Bolt will contest the 200m final on Thursday night as he goes after his second gold medal in Rio.