Saturday, 23 October, 2021

Sensational Thompson-Herah seals ‘double-double’

Biles wins brave bronze

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah made history with the Olympic sprint "double-double" on Tuesday, as superstar gymnast Simone Biles stared down the dreaded "twisties" to bravely win bronze.

Thompson-Herah's blistering 200 metres win, following her brilliant 100m victory, made her the first woman to win both Olympic sprints twice in a row, evoking memories of her retired compatriot Usain Bolt.

It rounded off a stunning day on the track, when Norway's Karsten Warholm obliterated his own 400m hurdles world record and Athing Mu, 19, became the first American woman to win the 800m in 53 years.

Thompson-Herah's 21.53sec was the second fastest ever seen after Florence Griffith Joyner's world record of 21.34, set at the drug-tarnished 1988 Seoul Olympics.

As well as becoming the first woman to claim a 100m-200m "double-double", the 29-year-old is the only female track and field athlete to win four individual Olympic golds.

Namibia's Christine Mboma took silver in 21.81sec while the USA's Gabby Thomas took bronze in 21.87sec.

Gymnast Biles had pulled out of her other finals as she battled the "twisties", a disorientating mental block, but she returned in medal-winning style to high excitement at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

The American four-time gold-medallist, widely considered the "GOAT" (Greatest Of All Time) put in a solid routine including a double backward somersault and double pike dismount, smiling broadly as she was congratulated by her teammates.

Biles was lying in the silver medal position until the final competitor, 16-year-old Chinese Guan Chenchen, stepped up and scored 14.633 points to take first place, pushing teammate Tang Xijing into silver.

"I was just happy to be able to perform regardless of the outcome," said Biles, who revealed her aunt died two days ago.

"I did it for me and I was proud of myself for being able to compete one more time."

China's double world champion Zou Jingyuan won the men's parallel bars and Japan's all-around winner Daiki Hashimoto, 19, completed a breakout Olympics with gold in the horizontal bar.

Earlier, the Olympic Stadium witnessed one of the great races when Warholm shattered his own world record by nearly 0.8sec in an epic 400m hurdles final.

The 25-year-old stormed over the line in 45.94 seconds, pushed hard down the home straight by USA rival Rai Benjamin, who took silver in 46.17 -- the second fastest in history.

There was more drama in the women's long jump, when Germany's Malaika Mihambo snatched gold from former champion Brittney Reese with her last leap of the competition.