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.
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.