TOKYO — Usain Bolt might be lengthy gone from the sprint scene. It isn’t going to indicate Jamaica has slowed down one particular bit.
No person has, at the very least not on the women’s facet of the activity.
An opening day at the Olympics that’s intended to generate very little extra than a brisk jog for the world’s greatest at 100 meters turned into a little something pretty different Friday.
Reigning earth champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran her warmth in the practically vacant Olympic Stadium in 10.84 seconds. Her Jamaican rival, defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, completed in 10.82. And Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the Ivory Coast sprinter who concluded an excruciating fourth in Rio de Janeiro, stored saying “Wow! Wow!” following she crossed the finish line in a blistering particular best of 10.78.
“I’m in shock, really,” Ta Lou claimed. “But I know I am completely ready.”
They were being the fifth-, sixth- and seventh-fastest situations of the yr, generated on a day when 7 of 54 sprinters strike a personalized ideal, all in an opening round which is meant to be designed more for shaking out cobwebs than observing the clock.
All that even however the industry was missing this season’s 3rd-fastest runner, Sha’Carri Richardson, who is back household in the United States pursuing a doping ban.
By comparison, only a single runner, Fraser-Pryce, cracked 11 seconds in the opening round 5 years back in Rio de Janeiro. She went on to earn the bronze, at the rear of Thompson (who has considering the fact that gotten married) and American sprinter Tori Bowie.
“I imply, a lot of sprinters are dominating,” Thompson-Herah claimed.
Fraser-Pryce arrived in as the preferred for Saturday’s ultimate, which is currently exhibiting signs of residing up to the hoopla. She ran a 10.63 back again in June that has some imagining even Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-12 months-outdated planet document of 10.49 seconds could lastly be at danger this year.
“Honestly, I have no strategy,” Fraser-Pryce claimed when questioned about the mark. “It truly is tremendous, super competitive. You want to make confident you target on each and every spherical and the things you’re intended to do.”
There ended up so many unknowns coming into the Olympics — namely if the calendar year-long delay, the vacant stadium or the strain of getting cooped up in a lodge home in the direct-up to the Tokyo Game titles would harm the athletes. At least one team, the women’s sprinters, answered all all those queries with an emphatic “No.”
A further unidentified: Would this be a fast monitor?
“Plainly,” stated Daryll Neita of Britain, who ran a individual greatest 10.96. “It can be heading to be a incredibly speedy championship, let’s put it that way. It feels astounding.”
The initial of 48 gold medals on the line more than the 9-working day meet was up for grabs later Friday in the men’s 10,000. Favorites involve Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda and Selemon Barega of Ethiopia.
Other morning motion on Working day 1 went to kind. Rai Benjamin of the United States and entire world-history holder Karsten Warholm of Norway cruised effortlessly as a result of their heats in the 400-meter hurdles, holding a gold-medal showdown in the cards. Will it just take one more earth history to get?
“Probably anyone else will do it,” Warholm joked. “I’ve done my task.”
Athing Mu (pronounced uh-Factor moh), a contender for the U.S. in the women’s 800, moved by way of the 1st round of her race and didn’t appear too bothered that the track announcer mispronounced her title.
“I am absolutely sure every person saw my encounter,” Mu claimed. “I you should not even know what he claimed. It was terrible.”
Ju’Vaughn Harrison designed it to the significant bounce last, keeping alive the American’s quest for a high bounce-prolonged soar double. Also advancing in superior bounce was world winner Mutaz Barshim, who wowed his residence group two decades ago when he gained the entire world title in Doha.
With hundreds of vacant green, white and burgundy seats staring back at them, all the “oohs” and “ahhs” for this a person came from the athletes themselves. Following Round 1 of that women’s 100, there was loads to get thrilled about.
“It really is whoever receives to the line 1st wins,” mentioned a different contender, Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, whose 11.05 felt standard on this working day. “Occasionally it really is not about the time, but about the posture.”
But at times, possibly this time, it could be about both equally.