TOKYO, Japan ‑ Tynia Gaither knew she had to really get out, focus on her lane, and run her race in order to advance to the Olympic final on Saturday, but it wasn’t to be as she faded to sixth in her semifinal heat and was 21st overall.
Gaither was timed in 11.31 seconds, slightly improving on the 11.34 she ran in the heats of the women’s 100 meters (m) at the Japan National Stadium during the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
All is not lost for Gaither as she still has the heats of the women’s 200m on Monday, looking to advance to her third straight global final in that event. It’s also the second straight Olympics in which she is running both the women’s 100 and 200m for The Bahamas.
Gaither was eighth at the world championships in 2017 in London, England, and eighth again at the world championships in Doha, Qatar, in 2019.
Here in Tokyo, she said she knew she was up against the absolute fastest female sprinters in the word and had to run the race of her life in order to advance to the Olympic final.
After finishing third in her opening round heat on Friday, she said: “I feel good mentally and I feel good physically. My start was a lil rough, and the transition, but once I straightened up, I was able to run well. Running the 100 and the 200 is something I’ve always done, and I like to do it. At this point of the season, it comes down to heart.”
Gaither, who ran a personal best time of 11.02 seconds this season, is now looking forward to the women’s 200m here in Tokyo.
As for the 100m, it was a 1-2-3 Jamaican seep in the final.
Defending Champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won her second straight Olympic title, becoming the second-fastest woman of all-time with a blazing 10.61 seconds in the final. She trails just world record holder, the late Florence Griffith-Joyner, of the United States, on the all-time list.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a 12-time global champion, was second in 10.74 seconds on Saturday night. Shericka Jackson completed the Jamaican 1-2-3 sweep, crossing the finish line in a personal best time of 10.76 seconds.
As for Gaither, she didn’t seem to power out of the blocks like she normally does, and by the time she got into her drive phase, it was too late as the field of runners was too far ahead.
Gaither was in the same semifinal heat as Thompson-Herah. The Jamaican separated herself from the field early and won that heat comfortably in 10.76 seconds. Still, she wasn’t the fastest qualifier for the final. Fraser-Pryce won her semifinal heat in 10.73 seconds.
For The Bahamas, Gaither will be joined by Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Anthonique Strachan in the heats of the women’s 200m on Monday. Jamaica will be represented by Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce and Jackson again.