American Tori Bowie won the women’s 100 metres world title on Sunday making up for her silver in last year’s Olympics while Rio gold medallist Elaine Thompson struggled home in fifth place.
The 26-year-old made up metres on long time leader Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast to edge her with the final dip on the line. Bowie fell to the ground after crossing the line and initially it was Ta Lou who celebrated only for the board to say otherwise.
“I had no idea that I had won,” said Bowie, who has a habit of hurling herself at the line in major championships finals having done a similar thing in the Olympic 200 metres final last year which saw her take the bronze. “The only thing I knew was that tonight I was going to lay it all on the line.”
Bowie admitted that perhaps she should stop diving or dipping like that given the pain she was feeling. “The dive doesn’t feel too good now,” she said. “But that has saved me in the past at championships…I never give up until I am over the line.
“Ta Lou went very fast but she always does so I wasn’t worried and I kept to my race. “I have a few cuts and bruises but I will now focus on the 200 metres.” The Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers finished third while hot favourite and 100 metres Olympic champion Thompson faded to fifth.
The 25-year-old Jamaican had started well but by halfway she had been swallowed up and was unable to find an extra gear as she had done most of the season. Thompson, who will not race the 200m at the world championships, was gracious in defeat.
“I have to give those three girls a lot of credit so big congratulations to them,” she said. “I don’t know what happened I just wanted to get a good start but they raced well. I didn’t execute my race which is a shame but I am healthy at least.”
Ta Lou emerged as the clear leader but Bowie ate into her advantage and then produced the dip of her life to take the title from under the diminutive Ivorian’s nose. “It is a dream come true,” said Ta Lou. “I didn’t expect to be in the top three because all the other girls have the power.”
Ta Lou’s compatriot and 2013 world double sprint medallist Murielle Ahoure also suffered frustration in being edged out of bronze by Schippers, who will look to retain her world 200m title later in the week. “From lane nine I was far away from my competitors so I am very happy to get a medal from the outside lane,” said the statuesque 25-year-old Dutchwoman.
“My start was not great. The blocks were slightly down when I drove out. Maybe I was unfortunate. But I made it back into the race.”