Athletics: Jamaica's Thompson secures sprint double

Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:54pm EDT
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By Drazen Jorgic

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Jamaica's Elaine Thompson completed a memorable Olympic sprint double on Wednesday after storming to victory in the women's 200 meters final, blowing away the field with a season's best run of 21.78 seconds.

The 24-year-old 100m champion beat pre-race favorite Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, who ran her fastest time of the season in the final but had to settle for silver.

Thompson's dominant victory ensured Jamaica maintained its grip on the Games' most prestigious sprinting titles, as well as making her the first women to win the Olympic sprint double since American Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988.

"My school motto was 'let the light shine' and I let my light shine tonight," Thompson told reporters.

"It's a big surprise to me because I have had a hamstring injury. You must overcome these things and tonight I am standing here with a gold. To beat Dafne is a hard run."

Though Thompson surprised herself with victory, she dazzled from the gun and appeared in complete control. A brilliant start helped her surge ahead of the field and after the bend she never looked like relinquishing her lead.

Schippers' second-place finish in 21.88 seconds made her the first woman outside Jamaica or United States to win an Olympic medal over 200m since 2004, but she was still disappointed by the result.

"I haven't made my mind up about what happened. I'm not happy with the silver," Schippers said.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Women's 200m Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 17/08/2016. Elaine Thompson (JAM) of Jamaica competes on her way to winning the gold medal.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach