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Olympics 2021 Running Results – Predictions Vs Reality

The 2021 Olympics was one of the most eagerly awaited sporting events of the year. Competitors from all over the world came together to celebrate their mastery of a variety of disciplines, but running will always be one of the most high-profile and exciting events of the competition.

Olympics 2021 Running Results: Predictions Vs Reality

Runners make headlines like no other athletes – from the 100 meters to 10,000 meters, the superstars of the Olympics are often those breaking records on the running track. Although they are some of the shortest events in the competition, running races always attract crowds who are eager to watch athletes take to the track.

While many of us will never try our hands at dressage or sailing, we all know what it feels like to run, and this may be part of the appeal. There’s no fancy equipment and no technological advances that improve performance – just the sheer power of the human body and amazement at the feats of speed and endurance that top athletes can achieve.

For a race that is over in less than 10 seconds, the 100 meters makes up for its brevity with the excitement that it generates and few fans of the Olympics will want to miss this truly exceptional event. As athletes get faster and faster, the potential to shave time off a previous record becomes even more elusive and the gaps between the top three are almost infinitesimal.

Predictions and Expectations for Olympics 2021

Of course, such a high-profile event with so much riding on the outcome does attract a lot of speculation from sports pundits, fans and other athletes. Some of the most hotly tipped athletes included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, a Jamaican-born athlete who has been taking the world of sprinting by storm.

After running a 10.63 in Kingston, Fraser-Price already held the records for the fastest time in the world for the current year, but she seemed set to beat the only record that still eludes her – the 10.49 world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner, popularly known as Flo-Jo, back in 1988. With two golds already in her collection, Fraser-Price was also hoping to earn herself a third and join Usain Bolt as one of the most decorated sprinters of all time.

For the men, there was a lot of interest in Trayvon Bromel who was in good form in the run-up to the games with a new personal best of 9.77, the fastest time in the world for the year so far. His first Olympics was marred by an Achilles tendon injury that slowed him down in Rio 2016 and made it hard for him to compete and train over the last few years.
The other events had a few notable contenders for the top spots, with Finland’s Sara Kuivisto attracting a lot of attention from fans both at home and in Tokyo. Competing in the 800 meters and the 1500 meters, Kuivisto’s previous performances earned her a strong following in Finland where fans were betting, or lyö vetoa in Kuivisto’s native Finnish, on her to achieve great things.

The results

While Shelley-Ann Fraser-Price did win a silver medal with her time of 10.74 seconds. She was beaten to the top spot by fellow Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah who took gold with an Olympic record speed of 10.61 seconds. Thompson-Herah ended up beating Flo-Jo’s fastest Olympic time to become the second fastest woman of all time, with only Flo-Jo’s world record remaining intact.

The bronze medal went to Shericka Jackson making for an all-Jamaican podium for the first time in more than a decade.

Over in the men’s competition, Lamont Marcell Jacobs won a gold medal with a time of 9.80 seconds, achieving a new European record and finally taking the top spot from 13-year champion Usain Bolt. Silver and bronze went to Fred Kerley for the USA and Andre de Grasse from Canada respectively.

Despite the odds apparently being in his favour, Trayvon Bromell didn’t make it past the semi-finals, where he came up against now-champion Jacobs and China’s Su Bingtian who both set continental records for their countries. For the first time since the Sydney games in 2000, there were no Jamaican sprinters in the 100 meters final.

Other running events were just as eagerly anticipated, with the majority of the favourites hailing from the USA. Keni Harrison and Grant Holloway were both expected to medal in the 100m hurdles and Gabby Thomas and Noah Lyles were tipped for the top in the 200 meters.

By the end of the contest, Grant Holloway had won a silver medal and was joined by two Jamaican competitors, Hansle Parchment and Ronald Levy, in first and third place respectively. Keni Harrison also won a Silver medal but was beaten to the top spot by Puerto Rican athlete Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, with Jamaican Megan Tapper taking bronze.

Elaine Thompson-Herah stormed to victory in the 200 meters competition as well, leaving Gabby Thomas in third place behind Christine Mboma from Namibia. Noah Lyles faired similarly, winning a bronze medal after being beaten by Andre de Grasse and Kenneth Bednarek, from Canada and the USA respectively.

And Sara Kuivisto may not have medalled, but her Finnish fans couldn’t be prouder of her record-breaking time in the 800 meters. Her final time was 1:59.41 which beat the previous Finnish record and came in at under 2 minutes – an impressive achievement and one that was celebrated all over Finland.

While certain countries consistently produce strong athletes that appear to be unbeatable, the uncertainty of the outcome is what makes the Olympics so fascinating.

image credit: Turun Sanamat


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