Thompson-Herah eyes world record next year

ZURICH • Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah led a host of Olympic champions to glory in an action-packed Diamond League final in Zurich on Thursday, just a month after the end of the Tokyo Games.

The five-time gold medallist crowned what she called an "amazing" season by scorching to victory in the 100m in a meet record of 10.65sec, finishing ahead of Britain's Dina Asher-Smith (10.87sec) at the iconic Letzigrund Stadium.

"It has been a crazy season, a long one and a tiring one. I was so consistent because I was just keeping the faith in me and did not allow any negativity," said the second-fastest female sprinter of all time.

"This year, it was a long season with ups and downs, but next year, the world record is definitely on my mind."

The late Florence Griffith-Joyner's 1988 mark of 10.49sec is one of the longest-standing records in track and field. A fortnight ago, Thompson-Herah was just 0.05 off from making history.

Namibian teenager and Tokyo Games silver medallist Christine Mboma, barred from competing in events between 400m and the mile (1.6km) because of unusually high testosterone levels, won the 200m race in 21.78sec.

Another star in Japan, Norway's Karsten Warholm, made his first outing in the 400m hurdles since setting a sensational world record of 45.94sec when winning gold.

The Norwegian held on for victory in 47.35sec from Brazil's Alison Dos Santos.

"I just want to go back to training - that's what I love to do, and what I've got to do, but it's also going to be very nice to have a break from competition," said Warholm.

Also a world-record setter in Japan, Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas wrapped up the women's triple jump with a best of 15.48m, while fellow Olympic gold medallist Pedro Pichardo of Portugal claimed the men's title (17.70m).

Rojas ended her season with the most 15m jumps in one season (16) and now owns six of the top seven jumps in history.

  • 6.06m

    Sweden's Armand Duplantis set a meet record for victory in the pole vault at the Diamond League final in Zurich on Thursday.

"This year, I was able to jump 15 metres fairly easily, and I hope next year I am in an even better shape, and to continue to enjoying being out here on the field," she said.

Sweden's Armand Duplantis also set a meet record (6.06m) for victory in the pole vault to add to his Tokyo gold medal.

One of the most highly anticipated races was the women's 1,500m, and it did not disappoint.

Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon held on in a brutal final straight sprint to beat Ethiopia-born Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, who had taken the bronze in the event in Tokyo along with two golds in an unprecedented treble.

Timothy Cheruiyot made sure of a Kenyan double after holding on to pip Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway in a winning time of 3min 31.37sec to reverse their one-two positions in Tokyo.

Other Olympic champions with no hangover were Sweden's Daniel Stahl in the men's discus, American Valarie Allman in the women's discus, Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi in the high jump and Kenya's Emmanuel Korir in the 800m.

All winners received US$30,000 (S$40,000), along with a bye to the 2022 world championships in Eugene, Oregon.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2021, with the headline 'Thompson-Herah eyes world record next year'. Subscribe