Athletics

Tokyo Olympics | Bromell eyes Bolt’s throne, Fraser-Pryce history

Speed merchant: Bromell, who has won 15 of his last 16 races, is the favourite for the blue riband 100m gold.  

The planet may have struggled with COVID-19 for the last couple of years but surprisingly, many of the world’s leading athletes are on their best legs. Athletics at the Tokyo Olympics begins on Friday and there will be plenty to look forward to.

All eyes will be on American Trayvon Bromell as he looks set to take over the throne left vacant by Jamaican legend Usain Bolt who won the men’s 100m gold at the last three Olympics. The 26-year-old Bromell recently clocked 9.77s, the seventh fastest time in history, and he has won 15 of his last 16 races.

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — the second fastest in history with her recent 10.63s — will be looking to become the first woman to win the 100m at three Olympics.

Stiff challenge

Her last came nine years ago in London and the 34-year-old could face a stiff challenge from compatriots Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson.

Early last month, Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan shattered the 10,000m women’s world record by a massive 10s at Hengelo. That lasted just two days as Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey produced another sensational run on the same track in the Netherlands.

Sifan, World champion in 1500 and 10,000m, has been entered in three events including the 5000m and will have to do a smart juggling act. Gidey will be running only the 10,000m despite being the World record holder in 5000m too.

Sweden’s Armand Duplantis is likely to be in a world of his own after taking the pole vault record to a new high (6.18, indoors) in June and the scene could be the same in men’s shot put, where world record holder Ryan Crouser has been unbeaten since the 2019 Doha Worlds, and javelin throw where German Johannes Vetter has produced a series of 90m-plus throws this season.

India will be watching the javelin closely and will be hoping that Neeraj Chopra brings its first-ever athletics medal in the Olympics.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 7:35:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/tokyo-olympics-bromell-eyes-bolts-throne-fraser-pryce-history/article35615820.ece

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