Thompson-Herah Kicks Off Olympic 'double-double' Bid

Thompson-Herah kicks off Olympic 'double-double' bid

Tokyo, Aug 2 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 2nd Aug, 2021 ) :Defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah kicked off her audacious bid for an unprecedented Olympic women's sprint "double-double" by advancing to the 200m semi-finals on Monday.

Thompson-Herah, who outgunned teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to seal back-to-back 100m golds on Saturday, finished third in her 200m heat which was won by Canadian Emmanuel Crystal in 22.74sec.

Fraser-Pryce also progressed, but 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, also of Jamaica, failed to make it through after inexplicably slowing with 40 metres to run.

Christine Nboma of Namibia clocked the fastest time, 22.11sec, to finish her heat ahead of red-hot US favourite Gabby Thomas, who was revelling in her Olympic experience.

"Everything felt completely normal this morning, it felt like a regular race, a regular day," said Thomas, who became the second fastest woman in history over 200m when she clocked a world-leading 21.61sec at the US trials in Eugene in June.

"But as soon as I opened the curtains and walked out to the stadium it was unreal. Even without the fans you can feel the energy.

"I was shaking. Until the gun went off my heart was racing, but once the gun went off it was a lot of fun." Thomas admitted that her focus had changed since winning the US trials.

"My goals shifted after running that time, from being on the Olympic team to wanting to be a gold medallist," said the 24-year-old Harvard graduate.

"I know that nothing is given, I have to earn that spot.

"That's the beauty of track and field, the beauty of the Olympic championships," she said, calling the Tokyo heat and humidity "pretty brutal".

Also tough, Thomas added, was the depth of competition, albeit in the absence of injured world champion Dina Asher-Smith of Britain.

"I thought I was going to be able to practise my curve, get out and focus on execution and... it's not the case!" Also going through was Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who has stepped down from the 400m to concentrate on the 200m.

She looked very comfortable in her heat won by Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou in 22.30.

Another athlete missing from the field was Belarusian Kristina Timanovskaya.

She said Sunday she was "safe" and under police protection in Japan after claiming her country had forced her to leave the Tokyo Olympics.

The 24-year-old said team officials had tried to remove her from Japan after she criticised Belarus's athletics federation for entering her into a relay race in Tokyo without giving her notice.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee had claimed that Timanovskaya left the Tokyo Games on medical advice because of her "emotional and psychological state", something the athlete denied.