Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah stormed to victory in the women’s 100m at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday although the 33-year-old world record remains frustratingly out of reach.
The Jamaican star clocked a meet record of 10.72sec to see off compatriot and Tokyo bronze medallist Shericka Jackson in 10.97sec.
Thompson-Herah, 29, who won three golds in Tokyo with triumphs in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, has been threatening Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record of 10.49sec set back in 1988. Last weekend in Eugene, she ran the second fastest time in history of 10.54sec and then timed 10.64sec in Lausanne on Thursday behind fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s 10.60sec, the third fastest ever mark.
“The world record is a short-term goal, it’s quite close but if I end the season without taking it, it doesn’t matter,” said Thompson-Herah.
“I am a double Olympic champion (in the 100m), I’m delighted with my performance. I have never been this fast. I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished in 2021.”
Fraser-Pryce, the silver medallist in Tokyo, pulled out of the Paris meet citing fatigue.
Another Olympic champion Armand Duplantis was also a winner Saturday, taking victory in the pole vault with a clearance of 6.01m.
Duplantis saw off Filipino John Ernest Obiena (5.91m) and Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen (5.81m) before attempting to break his own world record of 6.18m set in February 2020.
The 21-year-old failed three times to clear 6.19m but his victory was still welcome having been beaten into fourth place in Lausanne. He has now had six clearances of six metres or more this summer.
“I’m feeling good, I need to have some more competitions by the end of the season,” said the Swede.
“I’m glad I came here and passed six metres. It was a good day. To break the world record you need a perfect jump. I think I can do it but I’ll just have to do things a little better next time.”
American sprinter Fred Kerley, who was the 100m silver medal winner at the Olympics, edged out compatriot Kenny Bednarek to take the men’s 200m. Both Kerley and Bednarek timed 19.79sec.
Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali fell at the first obstacle and needed treatment trackside.
His early exit meant it was a Kenyan sweep with Benjamin Kigen setting a world-leading time of 8:07.12 to claim victory.
Morocco’s El Bakkali had been the first non-Kenyan since 1980 to win Olympic gold in the event.