The marquee event in the women’s category has witnessed world records being shattered at the Games on twelve occasions and that’s what takes the stakes a notch higher for the athletes, pushing them to deliver their best and beyond, while competing in this high-octane contest.
From American Betty Robinson — the first winner in the event to Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson clinching gold in the 2016 Rio Games, the 100m dash in the women’s category has seen some remarkable performances. And this time too, the marquee event is set to be one of the most talked-about competitions at the Games.
TimesofIndia.com here brings you a look at the best women’s performers in the 100m event at the Olympics over the decades.
The fastest woman of all time – America’s Florence Griffith Joyner has the best timing in the 100m women’s event at the Olympics at 10.62 seconds. Florence clocked the record timing during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. And 33 years after the record was set, it still remains intact.
Top athletes with most medals
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Jamaica (2 gold and 1 bronze in women’s 100m)
One of the greatest female sprinters of all time, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica is at the top of the table when it comes to grabbing the most medals at the Olympics in this event. With a couple of golds and a bronze, Fraser-Pryce has already finished on the podium thrice in her Olympic career.
In the 2008 Beijing Games, Fraser-Pryce became the first ever Caribbean woman to win the 100m gold at the Olympics. She then successfully defended her title in the 2012 London Games with a timing of 10.75 seconds.
In the Rio Games, Fraser-Pryce settled for a bronze, finishing behind her countrywoman Elaine Thompson and American Tori Bowie.
Fraser-Pryce, 34, will be next seen in action in the upcoming Tokyo Games for which she qualified last month in June with a second fastest 100m run ever by a woman at 10.63 seconds.
Wyomia Tyus and Gail Devers – USA (2 golds each in women’s 100m)
Wyomia Tyus and Gail Devers are the top two women American track and field athletes, who dominated the sport in the 60s and 90s respectively.
Tyus was the first sprint athlete ever to successfully defend her title in the 1968 Mexico Games after first winning it in 1964 in Tokyo. Devers, on the other hand, became the second woman to successfully replicate Tyus’ feat, winning the golds in the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Both women claimed 2 gold medals each during their Olympic careers and jointly sit second on the table with most medals in the women’s 100m event at the Games.
Wyomia Tyus (Getty Images)
Stanislawa Walasiewicz (Poland), Renate Stecher (East Germany) & Evelyn Ashford (USA) – (1 gold and 1 silver each in women’s 100m)
Polish athlete Stanislawa Walasiewicz had a unique journey at the Olympics. When she was just 3 months old, her family emigrated to America in 1911. After doing all of her training there, Stanislawa, in the period leading up to the 1932 Olympics made up her mind to represent Poland. And just a couple of days prior to her American ‘Oath of Citizenship’, she adopted Polish citizenship.
Walasiewicz in the 1932 and subsequent 1936 Games bagged a gold and a silver respectively for Poland in the 100m women’s event. She eventually took American citizenship in 1947.
Renate Stecher (East Germany – now dissolved) and Evelyn Ashford (United States) are the other two female athletes who have two medals each, a gold and a silver in women’s 100 metre event at Olympics. While Stecher starred during the 1972 and 1976 Games, Evelyn made her mark at the Games in the 1984 and 1988 competitions.
Stecher was the first woman ever to breach the under-11 seconds mark in the women’s 100m race while Evelyn, a few years later became the first woman to do so at the Olympics. Overall, in her career, Evelyn breached the under 11-second barrier over 30 times.
Evelyn Ashford (Getty Images)