Tests: Holloway, Benjamin almost broke the WRs, Thomas goes up
In an evening filled with other incredible performances, another stood out in particular.
Gabby thomas in the 200m final, not only beat the 2012 Olympic champion Allyson Felix, who was fifth in her last practice race, but clocked a staggering 21.61 – the third fastest women’s 200m in history behind just twice the world record holder. Florence Griffith Joyner, or Flo-Jo, who recorded 21.56 and 21.34 at the 1988 Seoul Olympics en route to capturing a second of three gold medals and four total medals at those Games.
Before the trials, the Harvard graduate wasn’t even among the top 50 in history to run the 200m. She then went from the 55th to the 26th (21.98 prelim. Of the first round), from the 26th to the 24th (21.94 semi-final) and finally from the 24th to the second Saturday.
Unlike Benjamin and Holloway, Thomas was not considered an Olympic podium contender two weeks ago. Shaunae Miller Uibo of the Bahamas, reigning 200m world champion Dina asher smith of Great Britain, then soon to be the United States national champion in the 100m Sha’Carri Richardson.
But roles have turned and Thomas is now the favorite to win Olympic gold in Tokyo, breaking all three personal bests for the aforementioned athletes by at least a tenth of a second.
Jenna prandini and Battle of Anavie complete the Tokyo women’s 200m Olympic team.