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Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson Herah was in fantastic form in her first international appearance of the season. Competing at the Wanda Diamond League meet in Rome, she captured the women’s 100m in a world-leading 10.85 seconds.

Despite travelling earlier in the week to the meet, the Jamaican showed no form of travelling fatigue as she was out of the blocks very quickly and kept pulling away from her rivals for an impressive win. The United States’ Aleia Hobbs was some distance behind in second in a season’s best 11.12s. It was also a season’s best for the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who finished third in 11.14s. Thompson’s winning time now puts her atop the World Athletics ranking for the year, ahead of former training partner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who has a season’s best of 10.86s.

Thompson Herah was elated after her win.

“I leave here with the world-leading time. I’m super excited,” she said. “This tells me where I am at the end of the season and tells me how I can prepare for next year.

“This year required more adjusting, and my goal was to push back and to motivate myself. I am a double Olympic champion, and I want to do well next year, so I want to be in my top form for next season.”

Unlike Thompson Herah, there was no luck for Julian Forte, who competed in the men’s 100m. Forte, who went into the meet in good form after competing locally, could only manage a sixth-place finish in 10.15s. South Africa’s Akani Simbine ran on strongly to catch the fast-starting Arthur Cissé of the Ivory Coast to win in 9.96s. Cissé had a season’s best time of 10.04s for his second-place finish as Filippo Tortu of Italy ended third in 10.09s.

The Gleaner