TOKYO (KXAN/AP) — When Gabby Thomas isn’t busy working on her master’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin, she’s winning Olympic medals.
Thomas sped to the bronze medal in the women’s 200 meters Tuesday at the Tokyo Olympics in 21.89 seconds, and the Harvard graduate now studying to be an epidemiologist at UT claimed the third spot in a tightly-packed race.
The winner, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, finished in 21.53 seconds, just .41 seconds ahead of the fourth-place finisher. Namibia’s Christine Nboma charged hard in the final 50 meters to finish with a silver medal time of 21.81, an under-20 world record.
Thompson-Herah’s time was the second-fastest 200 time in history.
It marked the second time in four nights that Thompson-Herah has won a sprint and recorded a time that fell short of only Florence Griffith Joyner’s hallowed, 33-year-old world records. The 200 record is 21.34.
Four nights ago in the 100 meters, Thompson-Herah started pointing at the clock a few steps before the finish line and finished in 10.61, which was good for the Olympic record but not Flo Jo’s overall mark of 10.49.
In the 200, she ran hard all the way through and stuck her tongue out as she pushed her chest forward at the line. No question here about what would’ve happened if she’d left it all on the track.
Both finishes, of course, equaled gold medals, and now Thompson-Herah will have at least four when she gets back to Jamaica. There’s a chance for a fifth when she competes in the women’s 4×100-meters this weekend.
This was a star-studded final, defined as much by who didn’t finish on the podium as who did.
Thompson’s Jamaican teammate, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, finished fourth and Shaune Miller-Uibo, who focused on the 200 instead of defending her title in the 400, came in last.
Miller-Uibo is still in the mix for the 400, after finishing first in a preliminary heat earlier Tuesday.
Thompson-Herah joins another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown, and Barbel Wockel of former East Germany as the third back-to-back champion in the 200.