Tokyo Olympics: Thompson-Herah completes second successive sprint double
Elaine Thompson-Herah completed a second successive sprint double, Karsten Warholm won the 400m hurdles with an astonishing world record and American teenager Mu Athing bagged the 800m gold on an incredible day of Olympic athletics on Tuesday.
Throw in a last-leap long jump triumph for Malaika Mihambo, a near pole vault world record for Mondo Duplantis and a third straight hammer gold for Anita Wlodarczyk, and it all added up to a sparkling showcase for the Games’ number one sport.
Jamaican Thompson-Herah was in total control of the 200m final, roaring home in 21.53 seconds, the second fastest time in history, to follow up her 100m triumph having also won both events in 2016.
“It feels amazing to win two gold medals again,” she told reporters.
Brilliant as Thompson-Herah was, it was what was going on behind her that really raised eyebrows as 18-year-old Christine Mboma of Namibia produced an astonishing final 30 metres to make up four places and take silver in 21.81. It was a third successive under-20 world record of the Games for the teenager, who last month was pulled from the 400m for excess testosterone levels.
Gabby Thomas of United States took the bronze, edging out 100m silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
There was a fundamental changing of the guard in the women’s 800m, where the three medallists from 2016 were banned under the same testosterone rules, leaving the way clear for two 19-year-olds to take gold and silver.
Athing led from before the bell for a dominant victory in an American record 1:55.21 and British teenager Keely Hodgkinson took the silver.
A world record had been widely expected in the 400m hurdles but Norwegian Warholm absolutely destroyed his own mark of 46.70 seconds with
a scarcely comprehensible 45.94 run. American Rai Benjamin, the son of former West Indies cricketer Winston Benjamin, was left wondering how he took half a second off the world record himself but ended up with a silver in a race where six of the top seven set national or continental records.
Pundits around the world spent the day drooling over the performance, with former Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson calling it a “leap for mankind”.
Sweden’s Duplantis added the Olympic gold to his world record after clearing 6.02m. Germany’s world champion Mihambo triumphed in the long jump, snatching gold with her final leap of 7.00 metres.
World record holder Wlodarczyk was the dominant force in the hammer circle and her fourth-round throw of 78.48 metres made the Pole the first woman to win an Olympic athletics event three times in a row.