LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Given the perfect conditions, Elaine Thompson-Herah believes she can break Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old record in the 100 meters.
Don’t expect it to happen in Lausanne on Thursday at the Athletissima with the forecast predicting 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) at race time — cooler than ideal temperatures to break the record of 10.49 seconds.
“It is in my reach. On a perfect day, and perfect weather if I get that, I would definitely challenge it,” the Jamaican sprinter said Wednesday, four days after running 10.54 — the second-fastest women’s 100 of all-time — at the Prefontaine meeting in Eugene, Oregon.
The temperature was only around 26 degrees C (79 degrees F) in Eugene on Saturday afternoon when she ran 0.07 quicker than her previous best, which came when she defended her Olympic title on the fast track in Tokyo.
“I tell myself, (the temperature) doesn’t matter,” she said. “Going to Prefontaine there was no intention of breaking that world record. It was a normal work day for me. If it doesn’t happen this season, I’m fine with the time that I have got right now.”
If Thompson-Herah does not set the record in the season-ending meets on the Diamond League circuit, she could peak next year back in Eugene at the world championships in July.
“She is a good inspiration to the sport,” Thompson-Herah said when asked about Flo-Jo’s legacy in track and field. “How she ran her races, they were so easy and smooth. So I try to do pretty much the same.”
The top six finishers from Tokyo will all line up in Lausanne, including silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was also second to her Jamaican teammate on Saturday in Eugene.
“I definitely have not run my best race as yet,” said Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion who ran her lifetime-best 10.63 this year at the age of 34.
“Seeing women’s sprinting at the level it is at is truly remarkable,” she said. “I’m glad I am able to be in that conversation.”
A stellar Athletissima lineup will have a near sold-out crowd of about 12,000 to see a slew of Olympic champions and world record holders at the first major European meet since the Tokyo Games.
“We haven’t had a full stadium for a couple of years or so,” Olympic pole vault champion Armand Duplantis said. “It’s just more fun.”
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