Elaine Thompson-Herah believes the world record is within her grasp after defending her 100m Olympic title.
The 29-year-old Jamaican ran an Olympic record of 10.61 seconds to beat Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson as Jamaica secured a clean sweep in Tokyo on Saturday. Fraser-Pryce was narrow favourite in Tokyo as she looked to regain the title she won in 2008 and 2012. All three Jamaicans were expected to get to the final of the 200m which was on Tuesday.
Thompson-Herah's 100m time was the second fastest in history, beaten only by Florence Griffith-Joyner's world record of 10.49 secs set in 1988. For years, Flo-Jo’s record seemed so out of reach that women athletes daubed it “a man’s time”. But Thompson-Herah believes it is within her grasp.
"It's a work in progress. Anything is possible," said Thompson-Herah, when asked if she could set a new mark. Her extensive post-race celebrations were because until six weeks ago she was suffering from an Achilles injury and thought she would miss these Olympics.
She said: “I held my composure. I believed in myself, I believed in God. The team around me is very strong, I get the support and I believe in myself. There's confidence to work hard.”
Jamaica had won two medals in each of the last two Olympic women's 100m finals but this was a repeat of their podium lockout in Beijing, when Fraser-Pryce secured the first of her titles ahead of compatriots Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart.
Jackson, who won 400m bronze in Rio, believes they have proved Jamaican women’s sprinting is the best. She said: "We will continue to get more medals and more medals. We are the greatest. We have worked hard, everyone works hard but we bring it all the way, we just bring it and I think we are the greatest.
"Sprinting takes a toll on my legs so it's just to recover, rest and be back for the 200m. It's one of my favourite events."
“Before departing Jamaica there were high expectations that we would do well in the female sprints. There was quiet confidence that a sweep was possible,” Ian Forbes, the first vice-president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), said.
“After the heats it became clearer, and after the semis the thought became even more concrete. The euphoria felt by the entire team and support staff was second to none. There were tears of joy from a number of athletes in recognition of the incredible feat just witnessed.”