LONDON (AP) — With Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson in the 100 meters, it was supposed to be double sprint gold for Jamaica by now. Instead, it’s the United States that leads 2-0 at the world championships.
With a desperate final lunge on Sunday, Tori Bowie dipped at the line to edge Marie-Josee Ta Lou by .01 seconds and win in 10.85.
Once across and off balance, the American sprinter fell onto the track and didn’t have a clue who had won.
“The dive doesn’t feel too good now,” said Bowie, who added gold to her Olympic silver from last year. “I never give up until I am over the line.”
Dafne Schippers, the 2015 world champion in the 200, took bronze in 10.96.
Thompson, the Olympic champion from last year, came into the race as a big favorite. Sporting a flower bow in her headband and purple lipstick to stand out, she was never a factor and finished fifth in 10.98.
“I didn’t execute my race, which is a shame, but I’m healthy,” Thompson said. “I don’t know what went wrong.”
On Saturday, Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100, beating Bolt.
The stunning reversal of Jamaica’s sprint fortunes was highlighted by the fact that it didn’t have a medalist in the women’s 100 for the first time in 14 years.
In an event almost as close as the 100 final, Ekaterini Stefanidi again held off Sandi Morris to win gold in the pole vault.
Morris and Stefanidi were involved in an epic battle when the Greek won on a countback at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It was almost as good at the world championships.
This time, neither had a failure through 4.75 meters — they were tied at the top with all opposition already out. Then, Stefanidi scaled 4.82 while Morris failed.
When gold was already assured, Stefanidi cleared 4.91 for a Greek record.
There was nothing close about the heptathlon, though, as Nafi Thiam added a world championship gold medal to her Olympic title.
The 22-year-old Belgian already had a huge lead coming into the concluding 800-meter race in the two-day competition. Thiam finished last in the final heat but still had more than enough points to win.
Thiam finished with 6,784 points, 88 more than silver medalist Carolin Schaefer of Germany. Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands took bronze with 6,636 points.
Thiam won three of the seven events — the high jump, shot put and long jump.
In the men’s shot put, Tomas Walsh of New Zealand already had won gold when he threw 22.03 meters on his last attempt, 37 centimeters more than defending champion Joe Kovacs.
The American also had a huge throw on his last attempt but was given a red flag for a foot fault. Stipe Zunic of Croatia took bronze with a toss of 21.46.
Ryan Crouser of the United States, the Olympic champion and the season’s top performer, never got it going and finished sixth with a throw of 21.14.