Jamaica double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, had no comment regarding the pre-race comments of Sha’Carri Richardson after handing the American a crushing defeat at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday.

Thompson-Herah clocked a new personal best of 10.54 in the women’s 100m, just outside of the longstanding world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.  Similar to the finish at the Olympics a few weeks ago, her compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.73) and Shericka Jackson (10.76) we second and third.

Heading into the race, however, the focus had been on the return to the sprints of American Sha’Carri Richardson.  Richardson had run 10.72 in April and won the US trials to set up the prospect of an intriguing match-up at the Olympics.  The 21-year-old was, however, suspended ahead of Tokyo after returning a positive test for marijuana.

Ahead of the Wanda Diamond League, many framed the race as an Olympic do-over for the American, who certainly headed into the event sky-high on confidence with plenty of pre-race chatter to boot.  It did not go to plan.  Richardson finished last in 11.14, and at the end of the race, the Olympic do-over had the same three medallists as the original.  On Richardson’s placing and pre-race chatter, the decorated sprint queens had no comment.

“I wasn’t watching Sha’Carri to be honest,” Fraser-Pryce, who went viral for a cheeky post-race smirk as she passed by the American being interviewed, said.

“No, you shouldn’t have,” Fraser-Pryce replied when anyone should have really been surprised by another Jamaican sweep.

Fraser-Pryce may well have a point, perhaps expecting Richardson, who is yet to win a major medal, to match up to the in-form Jamaican 100m medallist, who in total have 8 Olympic medals between them and three of the four fastest times in history, might have been a stretch.

“I didn’t hear much of that,” Thompson-Herah said when quizzed on the American's pre-race comments.

 “No comment on that,” the athlete added when asked for her assessment of Richardson’s performance.

It was by no means certain the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics would even go ahead, such was the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But go ahead they did and now here we stand on the eve of the closing ceremony in the Japanese capital.

They have certainly been a Games like no other and we all hope future Olympics will not be held under such unusual circumstances, and judging the success of Tokyo 2020 is no easy feat given the measures to do so are too arbitrary.

Having said that, here are the highs of the Games and some of the lows, too.

The highs…

WARHOLM AND MCLAUGHLIN HAMMER THE HURDLES

Karsten Warholm revelled in bringing the "wow" factor to the men's 400m hurdles, and rightly so. The Norwegian became the first man to break the 46-second barrier – running an astonishing 45.94 seconds to smash his own world record, five weeks after breaking a benchmark held by Kevin Young for 29 years. A day later, Sydney McLaughlin battered her own world record in the women's race, clocking in at 51.46s.

VAN VLEUTEN'S HEARTWARMING TRIUMPH

Five years ago in Rio, Annemiek van Vleuten was on course for victory in the women's cycling road race until a high-speed crash left her with minor fractures to her spine. To make matters worse, the Dutchwoman made headlines for celebrating what she thought was victory in the same event here in Tokyo – only to realise she had finished second behind runaway winner Anna Kiesenhofer. But finally, her golden moment arrived in the women's time trial – at the age of 38 years and 293 days, she became the third-oldest woman to win Olympic gold for the Netherlands.

SWIMMING STARS PROVE THERE'S LIFE AFTER PHELPS

Michael Phelps is an Olympics legend and no one can lay claim to more than the 23 golds or 28 overall medals he accrued over between 2004 and 2016. But a stellar cast this year proved swimming is in a very strong position. Emma McKeon took home seven medals (including four golds) – the joint-most of any woman at a single Games – while Ariarne Titmus' 200m and 400m free double was memorable, particularly her win over the great Katie Ledecky in the latter race. Caeleb Dressel took five golds to show his potential as Phelps' heir apparent, while Adam Peaty stunned again for Great Britain. It was some week in the pool.

THOMPSON-HERAH DOES THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE

Elaine Thompson-Herah announced herself to the world stage with a 100 and 200m sprint double at Rio 2016 but injuries in the intervening years stemmed her momentum a little. However, she peaked at the perfect time in Tokyo and backed up her double from Brazil – becoming the first woman to repeat on the 100 and 200m. Indeed, only Usain Bolt had ever previously done so.

THE AZZURRI'S GOLDEN HOUR

There was a shock in the men's 100m final where the unheralded Marcell Jacobs started the post-Bolt era with gold. That followed on from countryman Gianmarco Tamberi having minutes earlier shared high jump glory with Mutaz Essa Barshim. There were hugs aplenty as Italy, surely celebrating their greatest night at an Olympics, won two athletics golds at the same Games since Athens in 2004.

NEW EVENTS CATCH THE IMAGINATION

One of the most fascinating aspects of any Olympics is the new sports and categories that get added to the programme. At Tokyo 2020, skateboarding, surfing and climbing have all attracted new and younger audiences to the Games – while the addition of mixed triathlon and the mixed 4x400m track relay have been successes.

BILES' INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE

On the one hand, the fact we saw so little of Simone Biles and some of the reprehensible bilge aimed her way over the decision to pull out of the women's team event after just one rotation and then miss four individual events can be seen as a negative. But, on the other hand, the fact that she came back to take bronze on the balance beam and use her platform to promote the importance of protecting mental health has to be seen as a high. It takes bravery and courage in her position to speak on such matters. Kudos to you, Simone.

And the lows…

EMPTY STADIUMS AN ENDURING IMAGE

Let's start with the obvious here and something that has been spoken about pretty relentlessly. The absence of fans has had a huge cost on the atmosphere at these Games. Magical moments and career peaks played out in front of huge, empty stadia has undoubtedly been a huge negative. Many will take the fact we got here and managed to hold a Games at all as a positive. And it is. But at times, the whole thing felt a bit… meh.

TENNIS' HEADLINE ACTS FAIL TO DELIVER

With so many of the top male players opting to skip Tokyo, there was a big focus on Novak Djokovic and the next checkmark on his quest for a rare Golden Slam (only Steffi Graf has ever done it). The Serbian fell short, dropping out at the semi-final stage then getting a little stroppy. Big things were also expected of Naomi Osaka – a home hope and the 'face of the Games'. She made it as far as round three before going down to Marketa Vondrousova.

THE TSIMANOUSKAYA SAGA

One of the ugliest stories to emerge from the Games was the story of Belarusian runner Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who refused to board a flight after allegedly being taken to the airport against her will following her public criticism of her team's organisation on social media. Tsimanouskaya competed in only one event and claimed she was entered into a 4x400m relay despite never racing in the discipline, suggesting that was a result of members of the team being considered ineligible due to not completing enough doping tests. The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation indicated Tsimanouskaya feared for her life upon returning to Minsk. The country is under the authoritarian leadership of president Alexander Lukashenko, whose son Viktor heads the national Olympic committee (NOC). Both men were banned last December from attending Tokyo 2020. The whole thing has been really rather unsavoury.

Elaine Thompson-Herah is the best sprinter in women's history according to former 400m hurdles champion Edwin Moses.

The Jamaican sprinter became the first woman in history to complete the double-double by defending her Olympic 100 and 200 metre titles in Tokyo before adding her third gold of the Games in the women's 4x100m relay on Friday.

Thompson-Herah, 29, set a new national record with her earlier 200m success and recorded the second-fastest time in the history of the event.

Those achievements led Moses, a former American track star and two-time Olympic gold medallist, to the conclusion that Thompson-Herah is in a class of her own.

"She’s the best women's sprinter in history," Moses exclusively told Stats Perform. "She's proved that over and over.

"She came through at the right time, I think people were concerned about her and even when she ran against Dina Asher-Smith and didn't win, people were concerned but she was obviously in that final phase of training and she didn't want to show her cards. She did an outstanding job."

Thompson-Herah, fresh from her earlier 100m exploits, fell just 0.19 seconds short of Florence Griffith-Joyner's long-standing 200m world record that was set in 1988.

However, Moses explained there is a possibility that the five-time Olympic champion could complete the seemingly impossible and break Griffith-Joyner's records.

"It's possible. Obviously it's going to depend on the track," Moses continued. "If it's not the Tokyo track we don't know what she's capable of doing.

"She ran very, very fast there and those kinds of times are going to be much harder to run on normal tracks and aren't that Mondotrack that they had in Tokyo."

Simone Biles provided further inspiration when she returned to action on Tuesday and secured a bronze medal on the balance beam.

China enjoyed success with a Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing one-two, but the American gymnast stole the headlines on her first appearance back after withdrawing from the team final last week.

Mental health concerns were cited as the reason for Biles stepping away from the team events and other individual disciplines, though the 24-year-old excelled in her sole event on the beam.

The four-time Rio Olympics gold medallist reminded the world of her quality with a 14.000 score, and, despite Chenchen's last-ditch 14.633, she produced an emphatic return for the United States.

"I was just happy to be able to perform, regardless of the outcome," Biles explained after Tuesday's event. "I did it for me, and I was just proud of myself for being able to compete one more time.

"Just to have the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games meant the world, because training for five years and then coming here, then kind of being triggered and not being able to do anything, it wasn't fun.

"To go out there and compete one more time and have everyone's support meant the world."

To add to Biles' memorable comeback, the USA's basketball stars nudged past Spain 95-81 to reach the Olympic semi-finals, with Kevin Durrant netting a team-high 29 points to drive his side towards victory.

It was a far from convincing performance from the USA, however, as they trailed 39-25 at one point in the second quarter before rallying impressively to level at 43-43 at the halfway stage.

THOMPSON-HERAH COMPLETES DOUBLE-DOUBLE

Elaine Thompson-Herah motored to sprinting history as she won the 200 metres women's final to complete the sprint double-double.

The Jamaican set a new national record with 21.53 seconds, the second-fastest time in the history of the event, making herself just the second athlete ever, after Usain Bolt, to win both titles at consecutive Games.

Thompson-Herah, who claimed 100-metre gold on Saturday after doubling up for the first time at Rio 2016, just missed out on Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 world record by 0.19s.

"Oh my god, it's amazing that I have ever seen this day. That I could complete another double. I can't believe it," the 29-year-old said after the 200 metres final.

"I really had to pull it out to win the 200m. It's a new PB [personal best] and a national record. I am so, so happy.

"Honestly I am so tired, my legs just need some rest. I've done so many races in the last few days, but I am very grateful."

WARHOLM'S WORLD

Karsten Warholm demolished the world record with a remarkable 400 metres hurdles triumph, smashing the previous record run for a second time in five weeks.

At the start of July in Oslo, Warholm cut 0.08 seconds off Kevin Young's longstanding record that was set at the Barcelona Games in 1992, though the 25-year-old slashed even more off in Tuesday's final.

The Norwegian star powered through in 45.94s, hacking an astounding 0.76s off the global mark to secure a memorable victory.

"It's just so big. It's almost like history here. It was the only thing missing from my collection," the 25-year-old said after his win. "I had a World Championships [gold medal]. I had European Championships, I had the world record, the European record.

"The Olympic gold medal is what everybody talks about. I knew this race was going to be the toughest of my life, but I was ready."

The top three finishers all beat the previous Olympic record, with American silver medallist Rai Benjamin running 46.17, yet the performance of Benjamin's life was simply no match for Warholm.

 

BRAZIL PREPARE TO DEFEND TITLE

Brazil inflicted shoot-out heartbreak on Mexico after a 0-0 stalemate in 120 minutes to set up a final showpiece with Spain.

Reinier converted the crucial spot-kick and, with Eduardo Aguirre and Johan Vasquez missing, the defending Olympic champions ran out 4-1 victors.

"Playing the final match in the Olympics is a dream," said Brazil's head coach Andre Jardine. "The film I saw was the film of life. Everything we’ve gone through. Although we didn’t win in the 90 minutes, we took more risks."

Japan suffered extra-time agony in their semi-final against Spain as Marco Asensio's late winner sunk the host nation to tee up a mouth-watering prospect for Saturday's final.

Despite footballing disappointment, women's boxer Sena Irie provided the host nation reason to celebrate as she edged past the Philippines' 2019 world champion Nesthy Petecio to achieve gold.

Irie's win in the women’s featherweight class final means she is Japan’s first female boxing champion at the Olympics.

CYCLING CHAOS

Germany twice recorded world record rides to earn their first gold – and, in fact, their first ever medal – in the women's team pursuit cycling track event.

A strong Great Britain side, including Laura Kenny, awaited Germany in the final but the team of Mieke Kroeger, Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer and Lisa Klein produced the ride of their lives to finish in 4:06.159, almost two seconds quicker than the previous record.

In a dramatic day of cycling, the reigning world champions Netherlands won their first gold since 1936 in the men's team sprint as Team GB again had to settle for silver inside the velodrome.

That silver for Jason Kenny meant he became the first athlete to win eight Olympic medals in cycling track events and also equalled the total medal haul of Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins.

More controversy filled Tuesday's track events, with Denmark's Frederik Madsen crashing into the back of Team GB's Charlie Tanfield inside the closing kilometre of the men's team pursuit heats.

The UCI later deemed the Danes, who were near two seconds ahead of their opponents, to have completed a successful catch to make it through to Thursday's final against Italy, despite the incident.

Elaine Thompson-Herah had been writing down the goal of defending her Olympic titles daily prior to her history-making efforts at Tokyo 2020.

The Jamaican sprint star ran the second-fastest time ever in the women's 100 metres on Saturday to retain the gold she won at Rio five years ago.

On Tuesday, Thompson-Herah was celebrating again after a time of 21.53 saw her also defend in the half-lap race, which coincidentally was also the second fastest in the record books.

Thompson-Herah consequently became the first woman to defend the sprint double and she spoke about how she focused her attentions after injuries had plagued the intervening years between the two Games.

"I'm happy, I'm overwhelmed, I'm lost for words. I never think [about] this day even though the work was put in already," she told a news conference.

"But [with] the ups and downs, the obstacles that I have been hurdling and to five years later win a double at the Olympics – it's amazing.

"I think God is good, and I've written this down – if I had my phone I can show you it's in my notes – daily. I've written it down every day; defending my titles, setting new PBs, setting new records.

"Now I can tick those off. There is more in there that I'm looking forward to accomplishing but it's an amazing feeling to be among the greatest, to be in the record books and also the history books. It's an amazing feeling."

There is now only a three-year cycle to Paris 2024 given these Games were postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While becoming the first woman to three-peat in both events is on her radar, Thompson-Herah is focused on a more immediate goal at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon next year.

"Yes, three years is not far but since that I have both double Olympics I'm looking forward to [trying to win] a title in the World Championships," she added.

"I only have a silver from 2015. So therefore I'm just taking it year by year. I'm looking forward to next year in Eugene. Paris is in the books but I'm taking it year by year and looking for a World Championship title before Paris."

Thompson-Herah had spoken about how she had not slept much following her 100m win.

She elaborated on that point, saying: "Well I didn't say I was tired after the 100 metres, I said we had two runs yesterday which I have never had before.

"We had the heat in the morning and the semis in the afternoon, then to come back and run the final tonight that is tiring, of course, because normally we have every other day to compete in the 200 but this time the schedule was switched up on us where we had two races in one day. 

"So definitely, sprinting will take a lot out of your body, we are running very fast, I ran a PB in the 100m so of course I'm very tired, but it's my job. I came out here and I managed to get another PB and a national record that I'm really excited about."

Elaine Thompson-Herah joined some esteemed company by completing a 100 and 200 metres double at the same Olympics on Tuesday.

The Jamaican sprint star backed up her sensational triumph in the shorter distance, where she posted an Olympic record 10.61 seconds, to win the half-lap race in 21.53s.

In doing so, Thompson-Herah repeated the double she completed at Rio 2016 and is the first female athlete to defend each sprint title.

Indeed, only one runner has ever done so and that person happens to be the legendary Usain Bolt, who actually achieved the accolade of winning both races on three straight occasions.

Here, Stats Perform remembers the superstar duo's memorable moments of glory.

THOMPSON-HERAH:

Rio 2016 – 100m

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was attempting to become the first woman to win the 100m title at three straight Olympics but injuries had plagued her 2016 season and she could only finish third. Instead, it was Thompson-Herah who won gold for Jamaica in a time of 10.71s. "When I crossed the line and glanced across to see I was clear I didn't quite know how to celebrate. There is a big screen back home in my community in Jamaica. I can't imagine what is happening there right now," she said on that occasion.

Rio 2016 – 200m 

Only a few days later, Thompson-Herah became the first woman since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 to do the double in the women's premier sprint events (Marion Jones had done so in 2000 but later had her medals stripped). Then world champion Dafne Schippers tried to reel in her rival on the home stretch, but there was no stopping Thompson-Herah who crossed the line first in a time of 21.78s. "I know Dafne is a strong finisher, so I knew I had to have a strong finish, as well, just keep my composure and execute straight to the line," she said of the win.

Tokyo 2020 – 100m

Injuries had plagued Thompson-Herah in the intervening years but her form was peaking ahead of reaching these Games. And it all came together beautifully on Saturday when Thompson-Herah sprinted an Olympic-record time of 10.61s to lead a Jamaica one-two-three (Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson completed the podium) and defend her 100m title. "I could have gone faster if I wasn't pointing and celebrating early. But that shows there is more in store, so hopefully, one day, I can unleash that time," she said.

Tokyo 2020 – 200m 

Just like in 2016, Thompson-Herah backed up one dominant triumph with another. A time of 21.53 made her the second-fastest woman over 200m and also meant she could celebrate a place in the history books. She said: "Honestly I just need to sleep, I have not slept since the 100 metres, honestly my body is in shock mode, but I still had my composure to come out here. It feels good to be in the history book, to set a barrier for the other generation of athletes coming up because we have got a lot of athletes coming from Jamaica, it means a lot to me to set this barrier."

USAIN BOLT

Beijing 2008 – 100m 

The legendary Bolt started his era of domination in Beijing 13 years ago. In the 100m final, he ran a then world-record time of 9.69s despite easing up down the closing metres. "I wasn't bragging. When I thought I had the field covered I was celebrating. I was happy. I didn't know I'd broken it until my victory lap." With his victory, Bolt became the first men's 100m champion from Jamaica.

Beijing 2008 – 200m

At that same Games, Bolt became the first sprinter to break the 100 and 200m records at the same Olympics to take out the latter title in an astonishing time of 19.30s. Accused of jogging towards the line in earlier heats, Bolt delivered on a promise to run flat out in a dominant final. "I was worried [I might not break the record] after the semis. But I told everybody I would leave everything on the track and I did just that. I've proved I'm a true champion and that with hard work anything is possible," Bolt said.

London 2012 – 100m

Bolt had been beaten by a young pretender in the form of compatriot Yohan Blake in both 100 and 200m races in the 2012 season. But come Games time, it was Bolt who once again reigned supreme – clocking an Olympic record 9.63s (he had beaten his world benchmark from Beijing by this point) to defend the gold. "I tell you people it's all about business for me, and I brought it. When it comes down to business, I know what to do. The crowd were wonderful. I could feel that energy. I feel extremely good and happy," Bolt said.

London 2012 – 200m

An ever-relaxed Bolt enjoyed more success when he again came out on top against Blake in the 200m, winning with a time of 19.32s. In doing so, he became the first man to defend the 200m title and first to complete the 100-200m double twice. On the moment of history, he said: "I've got nothing left to prove. I've showed the world I'm the best and, right now, I just want to enjoy myself. This is my moment. I'll never forget this."

Rio 2016 – 100m

Bolt was by no means the favourite heading into his third Olympics four years ago, with long-time American rival Justin Gatlin holding the season's best prior to the Games. In the final, Bolt came good by defeating Gatlin by 0.08s. With this victory, Bolt became the first person to win the 100m title three times. In front of a jubilant crowd in Brazil, Bolt said: "It wasn't perfect today, but I got it done and I'm pretty proud of what I've achieved. Nobody else has done it or even attempted it."

Rio 2016 – 200m

He would again back up 100m glory in the 200m race, becoming the first man to win the 200m title three times despite having limited runs over the distance in the build-up to the Olympics. He ran a 19.78s to beat Canada's Andre De Grasse. "The fact I came here and executed what I wanted to is a brilliant feeling. I wasn't happy with the time when I crossed the line but I'm excited I got the gold medal - that's the key thing," Bolt said.

Elaine Thompson-Herah won the sprint double-double at the Olympic Games after storming to victory in Tuesday's 200 metres final.

The Jamaican won in a new national record time of 21.53 seconds in Tokyo, the second-fastest in the history of the event.

Thompson-Herah, the 100m champion, also claimed gold over both distances in Rio de Janeiro five years ago. Usain Bolt is the only other male or female sprinter in history to win both titles at consecutive Games.

Christine Mbomba, barred from her preferred 400m event due to naturally high testosterone levels, took silver with another world-best under-20 time of 21.81. United States star Gabrielle Thomas won bronze ahead of Jamaican great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Unsurprisingly, Thompson-Herah admitted her exploits had left her in need of a rest, having followed her 100m gold with a 200m run just 0.19 seconds short of Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 world record.

"Honestly, I just need to sleep!" she said to the BBC.

"I have not slept since the 100 metres, honestly my body is in shock mode, but I still had my composure to come out here.

"I knew my time wouldn't be fast because yesterday we ran two rounds, which took a lot from me, I equalled my PB last night. So to come out to get a national record and be two-time Olympic champion I am so happy.

"I was begging for the line, but you have to hold your technique through the line.

Thompson-Herah added: "It feels good to be in the history book, to set a barrier for the other generation of athletes coming up.

"We have got a lot of athletes coming from Jamaica, it means a lot to me to set this barrier."

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fell just short of winning a third Olympic gold medal in the women's 100m but is proud to have left behind a legacy on the grandest stage as she reiterated her intention to retire next year.

The reigning world champion, seeking to become the first woman to win the same athletics event at three different Games following her success at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, finished marginally behind compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce previously announced she intends to bow out of athletics in 2022 and will push ahead with those plans after adding to those two previous golds and the bronze collected at Rio 2016.

"The Paris Games are some way off, and I did say this would be my last Olympic appearance," said Fraser-Pryce, who missed more than a year of action around the birth of her son in 2017.

"As I said previously, I'm just happy to be competing at my fourth Games, doing it as a mum at 34 when people believe you're at the end of your career. To do what I'm doing now is a gift from God.

"I haven't had my best moment yet. I definitely believe something else is there. This is my final Olympics, but I'm looking forward to the World Championships next year and that will definitely be my final season."

Fraser-Pryce posted the fastest time in qualifying for Saturday's final, which saw six of the eight competitors finish under 11 seconds in what was the quickest women's final of all time.

Thompson-Herah's Olympic record time of 10.61s saw her take a second successive gold in the event and Shericka Jackson completed a Jamaican one-two-three with a personal best of 10.76s.

"I have respect for both of those ladies," Fraser-Pryce said. "Of course I'm disappointed – that was my first reaction. If you're an athlete and didn't run the race you wanted, you still have to be grateful for the opportunity and be happy for those who won.

"If it wasn't for the pandemic I can only imagine what would be happening in Jamaica right now. Just speaking about the legacy that we have back home, all those athletes young and old, they are all inspired by something that happened tonight."

POLAND MAKE HISTORY

The women's 100m race was one of three medal events on Saturday, with Poland earlier pulling off an upset by winning the Games' first ever 4x400m mixed relay.

Poland's team, comprised of Karol Zalewski, Natalia Kaczmarek, Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and Kajetan Duszynski, posted the fastest time in the heats and produced another great display in the final with a winning time of 3:09.87.

It is the second Olympic gold medal Poland have won in a relay event in athletics following their success in the women's 4x400m at the Tokyo Games in 1964.

United States are the world champions and entered the event as favourites, but they had tough time of things in qualifying – initially being disqualified before being reinstated – and finished third with 3:10.22.

Despite being pipped to gold by Poland and silver by the Dominican Republic, USA competitor Kendall Ellis was pleased to simply be on the podium.

"It feels great," she said. "It is so exciting to come here and run the first mixed relay at the Olympic Games, and to come out with a medal feels great. It feels like a win for us."

 

SWEDISH ONE-TWO IN MEN'S DISCUS

Sweden's Daniel Stahl lived up to his reputation of world champion by coming out on top in the men's discus to win gold, while compatriot Simon Pettersson took silver.

Stahl was the strong favourite coming into the event and registered a distance of 68.90m on his second attempt to finish ahead of Pettersson (67.39m) and Lukas Weishaidinger (67.07m) of Austria.

The last time Sweden took gold and silver in an event at a summer Games was in the men's 10,000m walk race at London 1948.

Australia's Matthew Denny sent the discus soaring a personal best 67.02m on his final attempt, but that was not enough for a medal.

"It's amazing. I am very happy," said Stahl, who became the first Swedish athlete to win an Olympic title in athletics since 2004. "There was a lot of hard work and fun on the way. I am extremely proud.

"My training partner [Pettersson] has been working hard. We have had a lot of fun together for many years. I am very proud of my coach too for believing in us and having faith."

POST-BOLT ERA BEGINS IN TOKYO

Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt won three straight men's 100m titles between 2008 and 2016, but he announced his retirement four years ago and the discipline is now wide open.

The preliminary rounds kicked off on Saturday, with the headline act being Dorian Keletela – competing at the Games as part of the Olympic Refugee team – advancing to Sunday's semi-final with a personal best of 10.33s.

In Saturday's other qualifying rounds, Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria spearheaded a group of 12 athletes to progress to Monday's final ​in the men's long jump with a leap of 8.50m.

2019 world champion Tajay Gayle, representing Jamaica, had to have a bandage applied to his left knee after struggling in his first two attempts, though he still advanced with a jump of 8.14m.

There were no surprises in the men's 800m heats, with all the favourites still in contention to take the title off David Rudisha, who is not competing at this year's Games due to injury.

Elaine Thompson-Herah insists she did not have any record in mind after her stunning victory in the women's 100 metres final at Tokyo 2020.

The Jamaican defended the title she won at Rio 2016 in sensational fashion, sprinting home in an Olympic-record time of 10.61 seconds to deny Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce becoming the first woman to win the same athletics event at three different Games.

It was the first time Thompson-Herah, who has endured a frustrating time with Achilles injuries since her crowning moment in Rio five years ago, had run below 10.7s.

But the 29-year-old was focused only on winning and believes her benchmark will too eventually be broken.

"Going into the final I didn't have a time in my head, I was just trying to execute the best race and I had the best race tonight because I got the PB," she told a post-race news conference.

"I wasn't looking at any record or any time as I said. But eventually those times will erase, even if it takes four or five years they will [be] erased [by] somebody. 

"Other women are coming up, rising, so to run this Olympic record tonight sends out a message anything is possible."

Fraser-Pryce had been the favourite to win the 100m for a third time in her decorated career but had to settle for silver, while Shericka Jackson completed a Jamaica one, two, three.

Thompson-Herah hailed Fraser-Pryce, who said this will be her final Olympics, as a benchmark in the sport.

"I wasn't checking the stats [of my races against Fraser-Pryce] I wasn't even counting," she added.

"She's a talented and a great athlete of course. She set the barrier for us younger generation coming through. As for a mum, she's soon to walk away from the sport, she's left her mark."

On the race itself, which saw Fraser-Pryce tense up over the last 30m with her rival right on her shoulder, Thompson-Herah confessed she had some nerves at the starting block.

"I've not seen the race as yet, I was super nervous but I had to control it. I knew all eight ladies were nervous," she said.

"We had done everything we could have done there is nothing else I could change. I think I had the best race tonight, I don't know if there is more to come but [I have] a PB and Olympic record so therefore tonight is the best race."

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce described herself as a warrior Sunday after she completed the sprint double on the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston. The 34-year-old Fraser-Pryce ran a lifetime best of 21.79 to add the 200m to the 100m she won in 10.71 on Friday night.

She held a fast-finishing Shericka Jackson, who also produced a lifetime best of 21.82 for the runner-up spot. Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 Olympic champion, finished third in a season-best 22.02.

It was a seminal moment for Fraser-Pryce, who won a silver medal over 200m at the 2012 London Games and gold a year later at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

“I am excited because, look at me, for everything I have achieved over the years, I’ve never taken it for granted. I always knew what I was capable of and I am glad I never gave up and I stuck to what I believed in and kept close to the persons who believed in me and continued to work hard for that dream and I am glad to finally break the 22-second barrier,” she said.

The improvements this season that allowed her to run lifetime bests of 10.63 and 21.79, she said, was the result of the hard work Coach Reynaldo Walcott put her through during the off-season as well as her own resolve to continue to strive for excellence despite whatever challenges life throws at her.

“The key part of the preparation was just the endurance part in making sure I was strong to manage all the rounds, I think that was very important,” she said.

“I am grateful that I was able to put together the work and I give God thanks because I have had struggles, especially with my toe, but I am a warrior so whatever it is, I am always going to show up and do my best and as long as I do that then I am always satisfied.”

She also praised Coach Walcott, the head coach at Elite Performance, with whom she has enjoyed a harmonious relationship ever since her early days at the MVP track club.

“Mr Walcott has always been a friend. He was part of the MVP track club, we started UTech (University of Technology) at the same time so I have always had that belief in him,” she said, also taking time to praise her former coach Stephen Francis.

“I think what’s also important is that we have always had a foundation as well from Stephen Francis and MVP Track Club so I can’t take that for granted and what he had done to my career so far. So, it’s just a continuation of the hard work and the coaches. I am just glad that I have had two solid coaches.”

Fraser-Pryce said she plans to immediately get back to work to continue to prepare for the Games this summer.

“The Olympics are not that far away so it’s about being very meticulous in the work and being mindful, stay injury free and doing the best I can to stay healthy.”

Rasheed Dwyer won the men's title in season-best 20.17 ahead of Yohan Blake 20.18. Tyquendo Tracey, the 100m champion, was third in 20.34.

 

 

 

 

Natoya Goule-Toppin won her eighth 800m national title in impressive fashion and Shericka Jackson cruised into Sunday’s final with the fastest time in the 200m on Saturday’s penultimate day of Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Like Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, fresh off winning her fourth 100m title on Friday night, was also impressive in advancing to Sunday’s final where she will once again face off with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in Friday night’s 100m final.

Goule, who has been enjoying an impressive season, clocked a season-best 1:57.84 in a commanding performance in the two-lap event. She was in control from the start and pulled away after the first lap to run her fastest time since she ran a national record 1:56.15 in 2018.

Second was Jasmine Fray who ran 2:03.92 and Aisha Praught-Leer third in 2:05.31, times that are well short of the Olympic standard of 1:59.50 and so neither will make the trip to Japan this summer.

In the semi-finals of the Women 200m, Jackson and Fraser-Pryce both achieved the Olympic standard of 22.80 heading into Sunday’s final. Jackson was the most impressive qualifier cruising to a time of 22.28 easing down to win her semi-final heat ahead of Ashanti Moore who ran a personal best of 22.86.

Natalliah Whyte also made the final on time when she finished third in 23.15.

Fraser-Pryce was also impressive easing down considerably to win her heat in 22.40 over Natasha Morrison, who ran 23.08 for second place and an automatic place in the final. Kevona Davis made it through on time when she clocked 23.20.

Thompson-Herah was the slowest of the semi-final winners as she eased to victory in 22.90. Finishing second was Briana Williams, who was fourth in Friday night’s 100m. The 19-year-old Nike athlete clocked 23.48.

No other runner from that heat advanced to the final.

Meanwhile, Julian Forte was the fastest man heading into Sunday’s final when he clocked 20.22 to win his heat ahead of Rasheed Dwyer, who ran 20.30.

Schoolboy Antonio Watson made it into the final on time as he ran 20.53 for third.

Yohan Blake ran 20.29 easing down to win his heat and qualify for the final.  Romario Williams was the other automatic qualifier in 20.78 from that heat.

The opening heat was won by 100m champion Tyquendo Tracey in 20.38 ahead of Nigel Ellis (20.41). Jevaughn Minzie (20.43) made it through on time.

Christopher Taylor was the fastest man heading into the finals of the 400m. Taylor ran 45.31 to advance along with Karayme Bartley, who ran 45.40 from the first semi-final. Sean Bailey advanced from the other semi-final running 45.42 to finish ahead of Demish Gaye 45.83.

The other finalists were Rusheen McDonald (46.03), Javier Brown (46.07), Keeno Burrell (46.14) and Nathon Allen (46.17).

Stephenie-Ann McPherson ran an impressive 50.18 to advance to the finals along with Stacey-Ann Williams (50.84),  Candice McLeod (51.04), Charokee Young (51.40), Roneisha McGregor (50.97), Tovea Jenkins (51.72), Tiffany James (51.77) and Junelle Bromfield (51.78).

World U20 silver medalist Britanny Anderson cruised into the final of the 100m hurdles taking her heat in 12.65 ahead of Megan Tapper, who ran a season-best 12.86. Also through was the 2019 World Championship silver medalist who won her semi-final in 12.70 ahead of Yanique Thompson, who ran a season-best 12.73.

Daszay Freeman was third in 12.82 which means she also qualifies for the final.

Ackera Nugent recovered from a bad start to win her semi-final in 12.78. Shimayra Williams also booked her place in the final clocking 12.87. Jeanine Williams makes it in on time after crossing the finish line in 13.04.

On a night when the USA’s Grant Holloway came within 0.01 of the world record, Omar McLeod was given a scare in his semi-final heat that he managed to win ahead Ronald Levy as both advanced to the final. McLeod ran his second-fastest time of the season 13.04 and had to work hard to shake off Levy, who ran a season-best 13.08 for second place.

Olympic medalist Hansle Parchment, who is returning from injury, showed he has a lot left in the tank running 13.19 to win his heat ahead of Phillip Lemonious (13.21) and Damion Thomas (13.27). Orlando Bennett (13.49) was also an automatic qualifier.

Andrew Riley (13.65) and Jordani Woodley (13.89) are also through to the finals.

Fedrick Dacres won the discus with 64.31m and Lamara Distin cleared 1.90 to win the Women’s High Jump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

World long-jump champion Tahjay Gayle and silver medalist Danielle Thomas-Dodd were the only winners on a day of mixed results for Caribbean athletes at the Miramar South Florida Invitational at the Ansin Sports Complex on Saturday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.