The 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo has been an amazing show of speed, power, skill and sheer will. With the absence of the fastest man in history, Usain Bolt, the 100m and 200m Men’s races were well and truly up for grabs. While in the Women’s races, Elaine Thompson-Herah aimed to secure back-to-back golds in the 100m and 200m races. Check out Olympics 2020: 100m & 200m – Top 4 Highlights from this Year’s Games!
1. Men’s 100m
After Usain Bolt’s retirement at the end of the 2017 season, he left a void that needed to be filled and this year the door was wide open for a new champion.
This champion was none other than Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs, the first Italian man to win this event. Jacobs ran a personal best of 9.80 seconds (smashing a previous best of 10.03 seconds), which is also the fastest 100m time ever run by a European athlete. This however was not his only gold at the Tokyo games, he also followed up with a gold in the 4 x 100m, pipping team GB to the post.
2. Women’s 100m
In this year’s Women’s 100m, people questioned whether 2-time champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce could win her third gold medal in this event or would fellow Jamaican teammate, and defending champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah retain the title with back-to-back Olympic golds?
After a close start to the race, Thompson-Herah powered through to victory in the final 30m as Fraser-Pryce couldn’t keep up. In a time of 10.61 seconds it was her personal best and a new Olympic record.
Honourable mention goes to Shericka Jackson who took bronze, completing a Jamaican hat-trick with a personal best of 10.76 seconds.
3. Men’s 200m
After missing out on gold in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to none other than Usain Bolt, Canada’s Andre De Grasse was determined to fulfil his potential and finally win gold at this year’s Olympics. Earlier in the week, De Grasse came third in the 100m final much to his disappointment claiming, “I know I can do so much better”.
When it came to the 200m final, he knew he had to leave it all on the track. Coming in at third around the bend, the Canadian went up a gear to edge past his rivals in the last 40m to win his very first Olympic gold medal. At 19.62 seconds it was a Canadian national record and a day to remember for Andre De Grasse.
Honourable mention goes to Kenny Bednarek of the United States who secured the silver medal in his first ever Olympics with a personal best of 19.68 seconds.
4. Women’s 200m
Elaine Thompson-Herah really stamped her authority on this year’s Olympics by securing the double-double (winning the 100m and 200m races in back-to-back Olympics), the first woman in history to do so. With a personal best of 21.53 seconds, it cements her legacy as one of the greatest of all time, if not, the greatest.
Honourable mention goes to the fearless Christine Mboma of Namibia who at the tender age of 18 claimed silver, a wonderful moment for Mboma and wonderful moment for Namibia.
It was a great showcase of sprinting ability in Tokyo. New champions were crowned, and history was made. There is a lot to be excited about come Paris 2024, will the young stars rise up? Will Jacobs retain his title? Or will Thompson-Herah produce a 3-peat? Only time will tell, and hopefully like myself, you can’t wait to see the drama unfold!
What were some of your favourite running, and track and field performances from Tokyo 2020? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram! Check out our other Olympics articles!