Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson Herah breaks Flo-Jo’s Olympic record
Florence Griffith Joyner had held the record in the women’s 100 meters for 33 years.
Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson Herah broke Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old Olympic record in the women’s 100 meters.
Thompson Herah set the new record of 10.61 seconds on Saturday as she took home gold in Tokyo. Griffith Joyner, also known as Flo-Jo, had held the record of 10.62 since the 1988 Seoul Games.
Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Thompson Herah’s rival, won the silver medal after finishing the event in 10.74 seconds. Shericka Jackson, also from Jamaica, took the bronze medal with a time of 10.76.
The country’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, celebrated the wins in a series of tweets Saturday.
“Proud cya done! #TeamJamaica 1,2,3. Congratulations to our women for a scintillating final,” he wrote. “Let’s continue to make history!”
“Jamaica is truly a superpower on global track and field,” a second tweet read.
Thompson Herah now has two Olympic titles in the women’s 100 meters after winning gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Griffith Joyner, known for her iconic long nails and flashy outfits, still holds the world record in the women’s 100 meters.
That record of 10.49 seconds came on a breezy day in Indianapolis in the first race of the quarterfinals of the Olympic trials, but officials deemed it a legal wind. Over the years, some people have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the records. Al Joyner, her husband at the time, told The Associated Press he doesn’t let the critics bother him.
“I try to rise above it and do what [Florence] would do — she always tried to rise above it,” he said. “She was always classy.”
Griffith Joyner’s world record of 21.34 seconds in the women’s 200 meters also stands.
She died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure in 1998. She was 38. Prior to Thompson Herah’s record-setting run, Al Joyner told The AP his late wife would have wanted someone to beat her time.
“I remember she once told me, ‘I never want anybody to be like me. I want them to make bigger footsteps than me,'” he said. “That was always her dream.”
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