Tokyo Olympics: Elaine Thompson-Herah becomes first woman ever to retain 100m & 200m titles

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson has become the first woman to retain her Olympic 100m and 200m titles

Elaine Thompson-Herah made Olympic history after clinching a gold medal in the women’s 200m final at Tokyo 2020.

Jamaica’s Thompson-Herah raced to victory in 21.53 seconds, the second-fastest women’s 200m ever.

She finished in front of Namibia’s Christine Mboma, who set a junior world record of 21.81. The 18-year-old moved down to the 200m after Difference of Sexual Development (DSD) regulations prevented the athlete from contesting the 400m.

Gabrielle Thomas was in third place after crossing the line in 21.87. The 24-year-old American was making her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

Thompson-Herah triumphed in the 200m just days after topping the podium in the 100m. She becomes the first female athlete to achieve the sprint “double double”, successfully defending her 100m and 200m titles from Rio 2016.

The 29-year-old was by no means the fastest athlete in the 200m heats, qualifying for the semi-finals in 22.86. She then stepped up her game, winning her semi-final in 21.66 to qualify for the gold-medal race in the fastest time. 

“Honestly I just need to sleep, I have not slept since the 100 metres, honestly my body is in shock mode, but I still had my composure to come out here,” Thompson-Herah said after the final. 

“I knew my time wouldn’t be fast because yesterday we ran two rounds, which took a lot from me, I equalled my PB last night. So to come out to get a national record and two-time Olympian I am so happy.

“I was begging for the line, but you have to hold your technique through the line. I know my grandma is celebrating right now.

“It feels good to be in the history book, to set a barrier for the other generation of athletes coming up because we have got a lot of athletes coming from Jamaica, it means a lot to me to set this barrier.”

Elaine Thompson-Herah winning the 200m gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Social media users have praised Thompson-Herah for her historic feat, hailing the Jamaican as one of the greatest sprinters of all time.

Comparisons have even been made with her compatriot Usain Bolt, who won gold in the men’s 100m and 200m at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

“Wow,” NBC Olympic researcher Alex Azzi said. “Seven women have won the 100m/200m double at the same Olympics, but Elaine Thompson-Herah becomes the first to double at *consecutive* Olympics.

“Only man to accomplish that feat? Usain Bolt.”

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