Rough week­end for Ja­maica

Bowie gets gold, and Ja­maica fails to medal in the 100

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

The Amer­i­can sprinter took a mighty tum­ble. No­body, how­ever, has fallen harder than Ja­maica so far at this year’s world cham­pi­onships.

The evening after Usain Bolt’s im­prob­a­ble loss to a pair of U.S. run­ners, the world’s best sprint is­land watched the red, white and blue pa­raded around the track once again at its ex­pense.

Tori Bowie leaned over the line for her 100-me­ter vic­tory, then stum­bled and crashed down to the track to put the ex­cla­ma­tion point on the sec­ond straight sprint shock of the meet. Her .01-sec­ond vic­tory Sun­day over Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast was a photo-fin­ish thriller. The fact that the de­fend­ing Olympic cham­pion and the most dom­i­nant fe­male sprinter of 2017, Elaine Thomp­son of Ja­maica, fin­ished fifth was ev­ery bit as stun­ning.

“The past few years, Ja­maica has dom­i­nated,” Bowie said. “We’ve had no harsh feel­ings to­ward them, no neg­a­tive thoughts. We’ve been ex­tremely fo­cused on our­selves. Just try­ing to get where they’re at.”

In snap­ping a stretch of four straight Ja­maican wins at the Olympics and worlds, Bowie be­came the first U.S. woman to win the world ti­tle at 100 me­tres since Carmelita Jeter in 2011. This marks the first U.S. sweep of the 100 at the worlds since 2005.

Bowie’s time, 10.85 sec­onds, was noth­ing spec­tac­u­lar. Her race, though, was some­thing to be­hold.

She trailed Ta Lou by two paces as they headed into the last 20 me­tres but Bowie just kept charg­ing. She caught Ta Lou at the end, and Bowie’s lean at the line was text­book. The photo fin­ish ac­tu­ally shows Ta Lou’s foot ahead of Bowie’s, but Bowie beats her where it counts - her torso is over the line a frac­tion of an inch ahead of Ta Lou’s.

Dafne Schip­pers, the 2015 world cham­pion in the 200, took bronze in 10.96.

“It’s not like there’s a train­ing ses­sion for a lean,” said Bowie’s coach, Lance Brau­man. “She did what she had to do to get to the line first. She’s scraped up and won and that’s all that re­ally mat­ters.”

The lean was so ex­treme, it sent Bowie off bal­ance and ca­reen­ing into Lane 8, where she landed on her left hip while the run­ner in that lane, Murielle Ahoure, had to slow down, then jump to avoid land­ing on her.

Bowie stayed down for a few sec­onds. The “7” sticker on her left hip was torn al­most com­pletely off. She gath­ered her­self and walked gin­gerly around the track for the vic­tory lap. Af­ter­ward, she spent about an hour re­ceiv­ing treat­ment for abra­sions on her shoul­der, back and hip. The pain will go away. That gold is hers for­ever.

“The plan was to just come out here and ex­e­cute, leave it all on the track,” Bowie said. “I didn’t want to come back say­ing, ‘Oh, I should’ve done this. I should’ve done that.’ That for sure wasn’t the case.”

Much as Bolt did the night be­fore, Thomp­son moved awk­wardly out of the blocks. Her 0.2 sec­ond re­ac­tion time was the worst in the field, and from there, she was never a fac­tor in the race.

United States’ Tori Bowie, right, lies on the track after col­lid­ing with Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure after win­ning the gold medal in the women’s 100 me­ters fi­nal at the World Athletics Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don Sun­day.

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