It was crazy to underestimate Thompson-Herah, Parchment, Levy made mockery of doubters – Why Tokyo 2020 was awesome!

By Sports Desk August 15, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah was one of the big stories of the Olympics, after destroying a top-quality field to claim the Tokyo sprint double in Bolt-like fashion.  She wasn’t the favourite heading in, but, in retrospect, we should have known better.

Ahead of the showdown between Thompson-Herah and fellow sprint queen Fraser-Pryce, it was the latter who wore the tag of heavy favourite.  It certainly wasn’t without reason. 

Fraser-Pryce headed into Tokyo having registered the fastest time in 33-years over 100m, defeated Thompson-Herah at the country’s national championships, and boosted a fearsome 8-2-win record in major championships.

Even so, to understate the chances of Thompson-Herah, the defending champion and possibly the best in the world on her day was a huge mistake.

The athlete treated the world to a prodigious display of her talent at the 2016 Olympics where she claimed the sprint double in emphatic fashion.  Prior to Tokyo, the athlete had in fairness struggled to recapture those heights with disappointing finishes at both the 2017 London World Championships, where she placed 5th, in the 100m, and the 2019 World Championships where she placed 4th.

To be fair, however, the athlete has struggled to be healthy, and a troublesome Achilles injury has often kept her from being at her best.  By her own admission, the injury had even impacted her ahead of the country’s national trials where she battled to compete through the pain.

In Tokyo, however, she managed to show up healthy and the rest as we know, is history.  A dominant 10.61 win in the 100m,  finishing a healthy .13 seconds ahead of Fraser-Pryce, handed the decorated sprinter her largest margin of defeat at a major championship.  The time was second to only Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record and also displaced the American’s longstanding Olympic record of 10.62.

For anyone not paying attention, they certainly were after that, and there could be little doubt the 200m would be special.  It certainly was.  Thompson-Herah ran a jaw-dropping 21.53, a time again second to only Griffith-Joyner, in the process defeating the field by a huge margin.  There was plenty of attention on the USA’s Gabrielle Thomas after she clocked what was then the third-fastest time, 21.61, ever run over the distance in June.  Thompson-Herah beat that time by a sizeable .8 seconds.

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