Thompson clinches Jamaican sprint double as US sweep hurdles

elaine-thompson-win-afp Jamaica's Elaine Thompson (L) wins ahead of Netherlands' Dafne Schippers in the Women's 200m Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro | AFP

Elaine Thompson captured a magnificent Olympic sprint double for Jamaica as Brianna Rollins led a first ever clean sweep of medals for the United States in the 100m hurdles.

Thompson, who sprinted to gold in the 100m on Saturday, stunned Dutch world champion Dafne Schippers to win the 200m in 21.78sec.

Schippers, who stumbled dramatically as she crossed the line, took silver in 21.88 while Tori Bowie of the United States won bronze.

The victory was the latest golden night for Jamaica, who 24 hours earlier had been celebrating Omar McLeod's 110m hurdles victory.

Thompson, 24, dedicated her victory to the trailblazing Jamaican stars who had won Olympic gold over the past years.

"It is very special for me to win," she said. "I spent my childhood growing up watching Veronica Campbell-Brown and then Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce."

It was a first Olympic women's sprint double since American world record holder Florence Griffith Joyner's at the Seoul Games in 1988.

Thompson's gold also avenged her loss to Schippers in the World Championships in Beijing last year.

"I knew she had a strong finish, so I knew I had to get out there as soon as possible," Thompson said of her Dutch rival.

Bolt in the groove

Jamaica's golden games is likely to continue on Thursday with Usain Bolt looking unstoppable in his signature event, the 200m.

Bolt, who completed a third consecutive Olympic 100m win on Sunday, romped home in his heat in a season's best of 19.78sec.

Bolt eased up 40 metres from the line to finish ahead of Canada's Andre De Grasse—and believes his world record of 19.19sec could be in jeopardy in Thursday's final.

"I definitely think I can try for the world record, I definitely feel that," he said.

But there was a shock as Bolt's US rival Justin Gatlin—the fastest man over the distance this year—failed to make the final.

"I wasn't fully surprised," Bolt said of the 34-year-old Gatlin's elimination. "I thought he would have made it. But I could tell in the 100m he was feeling the pain and he was slowing down."

In the final event of the night, 2013 world champion Rollins led a majestic performance by America's formidable trio of 100m hurdlers.

Rollins produced a flawless display to zip over in 12.48sec ahead of compatriot Nia Ali, who took silver in 12.59. The third US hurdler, Kristi Castlin, faced an agonising wait before her bronze medal was confirmed in 12.61sec.

The American women hugged each other and jumped up and down after the sweep was confirmed.

"It's like a sisterhood," said Rollins. "I've known these girls for years. I'm so grateful and blessed that we were able to accomplish this together."

It was the first clean sweep of the event in Olympic history.

Reese upset

Elsewhere Wednesday, Tianna Bartoletta of the United States upset defending champion and team-mate Brittney Reese to take the long jump gold.

Bartoletta, a 2005 world champion who gave up the sport as she struggled to regain her fitness, secured victory with her penultimate leap of 7.17m to knock Reese out of the gold medal standings. Reese, who could only manage 7.15 on her final jump, had to settle for silver.

"It's just a great feeling to have pulled that off," said Bartoletta. "It's been a good night for sure."

But it was a disappointing long jump final for Darya Klishina.

The only Russian athlete allowed to compete in the track and field competition following her country's doping scandal bowed out midway through the final.

"Ten or 15 years ago I couldn't imagine that my first Olympic Games would be like this," a disappointed Klishina said.

In the day's other final, Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya won gold in the men's 3,000m steeplechase.

Evan Jager of the United States won silver, while Mahiedine Mekhissi of France was awarded bronze after Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi, who had crossed the line in third place, was disqualified.

This browser settings will not support to add bookmarks programmatically. Please press Ctrl+D or change settings to bookmark this page.

Related Reading

    Show more