Sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines, London 2017.
Another night of high drama in the sold-out London Stadium; another torn-up 100m script.
Once again, as in the men’s final on Saturday, there was surprise joy for the United States and disappointment for Jamaica when it came to the women’s final at the climax of Sunday’s evening session on day three of the IAAF World Championships London 2017.
If anything, Elaine Thompson lined up as an ever stronger favourite than Usain Bolt but the Olympic 100m and 200m champion got off to a sluggish start of Boltish proportions and was never in the medal mix – unlike her celebrated compatriot, who at least took bronze behind the US duo Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman in the final individual race of his career.
Unbeaten at 100m for more than two years, since the Eugene IAAF Diamond League meeting on 30 May 2015, Thompson crossed the line fifth in 10.98 – 0.27 down on her world lead.
She said, ”
“I have to give those three girls a lot of credit, so a big congratulations to them. I didn’t execute my race which is a shame but I’m healthy.
“I don’t know what happened. I just wanted to get a good start but they raced well. I’ll have to watch the video back because I don’t know what went wrong.”
The diminutive Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou got off to a flying start and looked to have the gold medal in the bag all the way – only Tori Bowie, still one metre down with 40 metres to go, after her own poor start, stole up on her outside and snatched victory on the line with a dip that was timed to absolute perfection, in the style that took Britain’s Harold Abrahams to his Chariots of Fire Olympic gold in Paris in 1924.
Bowie, runner-up to Thompson in last year’s Olympic final in Rio, crashed to the track unaware that she had pulled victory out of the bag – by 0.01 in 10.85, with Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands taking bronze in 10.96.
Asked about the dive, Bowie said, ”
“The dive doesn’t feel too good now. But that has saved me at championships in the past. I never give up until I’m over the line.
“Ta Lou went away fast but she always is. It didn’t bother me and I just kept pumping my legs and arms until the finish. I have a few cuts but I’ll be ready for the 200m. I’m not afraid of what is to come.”
For the first time since Gatlin and Lauryn Williams triumphed in Helsinki, the US had matching men’s and women’s 100m world champions.