We have a new Olympic record holder in the women’s 100 meters: Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah broke Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old record in Tokyo on Saturday, successfully defending her title in the event.
ESPN reports that Thompson-Herah finished at 10.61, edging out Flo-Jo’s time of 10.62 that she recorded at the 1988 Seoul Olympics–but the legendary sprinter’s world record still stands at 10.49. Jamaica ended up sweeping all three medals during the 100 meters, with Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce taking the silver and Shericka Jackson earning the bronze.
Thompson-Herah wasn’t surprised. She was looking left toward the clock as she approached the line. She was pointing even before she got there, conjuring memories of (Usain) Bolt, who celebrated with 10 meters to go when he ran 9.69 to set the men’s world record in 2008.
“I think I could have gone faster if I wasn’t pointing and celebrating, really,” Thompson-Herah said. “But to show you that there’s more in store. Hopefully one day I can unleash that time.”
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness was fired up about the Jamaican sweep on Twitter, congratulating all three women and stating that Jamaica “is truly a superpower on global track and field.”
Obviously, you can see in the video that Thompson-Herah is the definition of “fast.” To give an illustration of how fast she was, Sports Illustrated compared her edging of Griffith Joyner’s time by one one-hundredth of a second to the amount of time it roughly takes a hummingbird to flap its wings seven times.
So yeah, that was fast. And while Flo-Jo is no longer with us, her husband Al told SI that she would likely be proud of Thompson-Herah for besting her time.
More from Sports Illustrated:
Joyner said he had actually pegged Thompson-Herah as the favorite, citing her improved technique that he witnessed in person earlier this year. She appeared more relaxed, and she moved forward differently—to his trained eye—in a significant way, by “touching the ground instead of touching down off the ground.”