Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who had been seeking a third gold in the event, took silver in 10.74 with Shericka Jackson third in 10.76 at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
Fastest female #Olympics athlete in history! #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/kQ3YI9tsFy
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Thompson-Herah’s Olympic record time has been beaten only by Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 1988 world record of 10.49 – though the American also ran a 10.61.
Fraser-Pryce, 34, took time away from the sport to have a baby but arrived in Tokyo on the back of a sizzling 10.63 run – the fastest time this year.
She started the race strongly, nosing ahead of the field but Thompson-Herah caught up and after the pair raced neck and neck it was the latter who surged ahead with about 40 metres remaining.
Thompson-Herah, wearing a glittering headband, started celebrating before she crossed the line with her left hand raised and she continued her sprint for some distance before lying on the track in jubilation.
The organisers added to the mood of the evening by switching off the lights and lighting up the 100m stretch of the track before introducing the eight sprinters, and six of them finished in under 11 seconds in a blistering race.
Fraser-Pryce, who was looking to add to her 100m wins in 2008 and 2012, had clocked 10.73 to top the semi-final time lists but was unable to improve on that mark.
Jamaica also swept the women’s 100 metres medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.