2021 Athletissima Lausanne Recap: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.60) Takes Down Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.64) in Blazing 100, Jakob Ingebrigtsen Keeps Winning & More
By Jonathan Gault
August 26, 2021
The annus mirabilis in the women’s 100 meters continued on Thursday at the Athletissima Lausanne Diamond League meet in Switzerland. Just five days after Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah blasted a 10.54 at the Prefontaine Classic, the second-fastest time in history, her Jamaican rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce answered back by ripping a 10.60 (#3 time in history) in Lausanne to defeat Thompson-Herah (second in 10.64) for the first time in five attempts.
Fraser-Pryce’s mad dash was one of two standout performances on a cool night on the shores of Lake Geneva (the other was Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas going a windy 15.56 meters in the triple jump, the second-best all-conditions jump in history behind only her 15.67 WR). While the wind helped in the women’s 100, it hurt Karsten Warholm, who looked flat in the heavily-anticipated 400 meters as he finished fourth in 45.51. His Norwegian countryman Jakob Ingebrigtsen fared better, staying hot by winning the men’s 3,000 in 7:33.06, but another Scandinavian Olympic champ was off his game as Mondo Duplantis finished a surprising fourth in the pole vault with Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen of the US taking the win.
There was also another win in the 800 meters for Canada’s Marco Arop, and a first career Diamond League victory for Devon Allen in the 110 hurdles. Recap and analysis of the top events below.
Women’s 100: SAFP takes down Thompson-Herah, runs 10.60 (#3 all-time)
Did you forget how good Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is? Elaine Thompson-Herah has been so good recently, running 10.54 (#2 all-time) and 10.61 (T-#3 all-time) in her last two races, that SAFP has been overlooked despite running 10.74 and 10.73 in those same two meets.
Tonight in Lausanne, the 34-year-old Fraser-Pryce sent a message: I’m still here. And I’m better than ever.
Using a rocket start, Fraser-Pryce got a jump on the field, and while Thompson-Herah came on strong as usual, this time it was not enough as Fraser-Pryce blasted to 10.60, the third-fastest time ever run, behind only FloJo’s 10.49 world record and Thompson-Herah’s 10.54 from last week at Pre. Thompson-Herah ran 10.64 — her third-best time ever — and Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson clocked 10.92 to give Jamaica a 1-2-3 sweep for the third straight meet (they also did it in Tokyo and at Pre).
The race marked the first time in history two women had broken 10.70. Thompson-Herah’s time is tied for 8th all-time and is the fastest non-winning time in history, a distinction previously held by Fraser-Pryce (10.73 at the ‘19 Jamaican champs and ‘21 Pre Classic).
After the race, Fraser-Pryce said she thinks she can go faster. While the wind was friendly in Lausanne (several races were over the legal limit tonight, but it was a helpful +1.7 for the women’s 100), the 66-degree temperature was a little cool for world-class sprinting.
“I’m feeling good to equal my PB tonight, it was cold but I still came out here to do my job,” Fraser-Pryce told meet organizers after the race. “Believe it or not, I still have not ran my best race, I know there is more to give because I still need to work further on perfecting my technique. There will be more from me this season, and certainly my goal is to break into the 10.5 range.”
Quick Take: 2021 has been the greatest year in the history of women’s 100-meter running
Here is the updated all-time women’s 100m list after Thursday’s race in Lausanne:
1. 10.49 Florence Griffith-Joyner 1988
2. 10.54 Elaine Thompson-Herah 2021
3. 10.60 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 2021
4. 10.61 Elaine Thompson-Herah 2021
4. 10.61 Florence Griffith-Joyner 1988
6. 10.62 Florence Griffith-Joyner 1988
7. 10.63 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 2021
8. 10.64 Elaine Thompson-Herah 2021
8. 10.64 Carmelita Jeter 2009
10. 10.65 Marion Jones 1998
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah are two greatest women’s 100m sprinters in history. And they are both having the greatest year of their career at the same time. Track fans need to appreciate that because we are not going to see a season like this again anytime soon.
Why are we seeing such fast times from Thompson-Herah (age 29) and Fraser-Pryce (age 34) later in their careers? Are the tracks faster? Maybe, but the men’s 100 guys aren’t dropping historic times with regularity. Are the shoes better? Yes.
But how about this theory: ETH and SAFP are actually racing each other. Before 2021, Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce had raced each other in just five 100m finals. They were training partners and only raced each other when they absolutely had to — at the Jamaican nationals or Worlds/Olympics. Yet those races produced the two fastest times of Thompson-Herah’s career.
Now the two are no longer training partners (Fraser-Pryce left coach Stephen Francis in 2020) and in 2021 they have raced each other five times. Those five races have produced four of the fastest nine times in history. Nothing like an all-time great rival to bring the best out of you.
Men’s 400: Karsten Warholm runs 45.51 as Wil London wins from lane 8
This was Karsten Warholm’s much-hyped season opener in the flat 400, with everyone wanting to know what the Olympic 400 hurdles champion — who ran 45.94 over barriers in an unforgettable race in Tokyo — could do with the hurdles removed. Warholm was running in his preferred lane 7, but did not get his usual fast start and was only third coming off the turn into the home straight. Instead, it was the man to his right in lane 8, Wil London of the US, who used a strong final 100 to pull away from Warholm and edge Botswana’s Isaac Makwala at the line to win in 45.17 to Makwala’s 45.20.
Warholm had to settle for fourth in 45.51 — just .43 faster than he ran in Tokyo with 10 hurdles in his way.
“The conditions and my body didn’t respond the way I wanted,” Warholm said. “The last 100m everyone was coming up. It is not the place I was hoping for. But it is what it is. It shows that it is difficult to come back after the Olympics.
“It’s amazing to have the crowd back. I would have wished to have shown them a better performance. I hope that in Zürich I will be better prepared.”
Men’s 3000: Jakob Ingebrigtsen wins again in 7:33 to hold off Berihu Aregawi
Wind? Fatigue? A world-class field? Nothing can stop Jakob Ingebrigtsen right now. In a race featuring Olympic 10k champ Selemon Barega and Olympic 5k silver medalist Moh Ahmed, the 20-year-old Ingebrigtsen again proved himself the class of the field, running 7:33.06, doing just enough to win his fourth Diamond League race at a fourth different distance in 2021 (1500, mile, 3k, 5k).
As in the Bowerman Mile five days ago, Ingebrigtsen and Stewart McSweyn were clear of the field by 2k (5:02.25), Ingebrigtsen sitting behind the Australian as they opened up a 20m gap. This time, however, they would have company at the end of the race as Berihu Aregawi, the fourth-placer in the Olympic 10k, reeled them in on the penultimate lap and took the lead on the back straight with 250 to go. Aregawi’s impressive close was enough to take down McSweyn, but not Ingebrigtsen, who calmly moved out to lane 2 and pulled away in the home straight to win thanks to a 57.3 last lap.
Quick Take: Ingebrigtsen seemed exhausted after this one, but he is too good to lose right now
After crossing the finish line, Ingebrigtsen quickly found a seat on the track, puffing his cheeks and looking totally exhausted. And who can blame him? This year, he has won Diamond Leagues in Gateshead (1500), Eugene (mile), Lausanne (3k), and Florence (5k) and ran 3:28 to win the Olympics in Tokyo. He said even before the Bowerman Mile last week that he was tired, and a 3:47 mile there and over 5,000 miles of flying since then can’t have helped matters.
But Ingebrigtsen did just enough to win tonight, smartly allowing McSweyn to do the work and not panicking when Aregawi took the lead with 200 to go. Even though he did not lead until the final meters, Ingebrigtsen was in complete control throughout.
Men’s 800: Marco Arop gets his second DL win in six days
The men’s 800 in Lausanne was billed as an Olympic rematch as eight of the nine Tokyo finalists were on the start line — everyone save Botswana’s Nijel Amos. Yet for the second time in a week, it was a man who did not even make the final in Tokyo — Canada’s Marco Arop — who took the win.
Unlike at Pre, where Arop went out at the back of the pack, he was at the front throughout in Lausanne, though neither he nor anyone else went with the Wavelight or the pacemaker (51.07 at 400). Still, Arop put in a surge down the home straight for the first time, opening a gap of five meters on the pack by the top of the back straight. Kenyans Ferguson Rotich and Emmanuel Korir, who went 1-2 in Tokyo and 2-3 behind Arop at Pre, made a bid to close the gap to the Canadian and Korir made significant progress, passing Rotich into second with 600 to go and closing down Arop on the home straight as the two pulled away from everyone else.
But Korir could never get there, giving Arop two impressive wins in six days in 1:44.50. Korir was next in 1:44.62 with Rotich a distant third in 1:45.58. American Clayton Murphy was 5th in 1:45.77.
Quick Take: Trying to make sense of Marco Arop’s back-to-back DL wins
One thing that has become clear is that Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich are dangerous in any kind of race. They were 1-2 in Tokyo and 2-3 at Pre and Lausanne. It’s tempting to say they’ve shown they’re a cut above everyone else…but you can’t say that considering Arop, who didn’t even make the final in Tokyo, has beaten them — and everyone else — in their last two races.
Meanwhile, Patryk Dobek and Peter Bol — who went 3-4 in Tokyo and didn’t race last weekend at Pre — were 10th and 9th in this race in 1:47 and 1:50, respectively.
So how do you explain Arop? How is he this good now yet could not even make the Olympic final?
The simplest explanation: the Olympic 800 final is really freaking hard to make. Arop ran 1:44.90 in his semi — hardly a bad effort — but that was only good for 7th in a race where .79 separated the top seven. Arop has been brilliant outside of that semi (he has run 1:44 or faster in his other six races, including a 1:43.26 pb in Monaco) but was a little off his game in Tokyo. And at this level, with such a thin margin for error, a little off your game is all it takes.
Women’s 1500: Freweyni Gebreezibeher runs down Linden Hall
On paper, Olympic 4th-placer Freweyni Gebreezibeher of Ethiopia was favored to win this race. And she did. But she had to work for it, as Australia’s Linden Hall made a bold bid for the win, opening up a 16-meter gap at the bell only for Gebreezibeher to run her down and pass Hall with 65 meters to go, winning in 4:02.24 thanks to a 62.8 last lap (Hall could only manage 66.1). American Josette Norris once again impressed over 1500, running 4:03.27 to follow up her 3rd at Pre with another 3rd in her first overseas race.
Men’s 200: Bednarek holds off Kerley in a windy race
The US earned a dominant 1-2 as Olympic silver medalists Kenny Bednarek and Fred Kerley ran 19.65 and 19.77 (+3.2 wind) to leave Olympic 400 champion Steven Gardiner in the dust in third (20.11). Bednarek, running in lane 6, held a slight lead off the turn and Kerley, on his inside in lane 5, could not quite manage to run him down before the finish line.
Men’s 110 hurdles: Devon Allen earns first DL win
A big +2.9 tailwind made the hurdles tough to navigate tonight, and it appeared to throw off Olympic champ Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, who faded to last in 13.58. Instead, it was American Devon Allen, the fourth-placer in Tokyo, who hit the final hurdle but weathered the storm to earn his first Diamond League win in 13.07.
Women’s 400 hurdles: Bol beats Little as Muhammad struggles
Femke Bol and Shamier Little have raced four times in 2021, and three of them have produced terrific finishes. In Stockholm and Székesfehérvár, Bol prevailed by a total of .06 of a second, and tonight in Lausanne, Little led until just before the final hurdle, when Bol pulled away to win in 53.05 to Little’s 53.78. The big surprise was Olympic silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad, who went out hard but was well off her best tonight and faded to fourth in 54.50.
Field events (full field series here)
Women’s triple jump: Rojas unleashes monster series
One month ago, the triple jump world record stood at 15.50 meters. Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas surpassed that mark twice tonight, with a windy 15.56 in round one followed by a legal 15.52 in round four (she clinched the win by going 15.11 in round six). Only Rojas herself (15.67 at the Olympics) has ever jumped farther in any conditions.
Men’s shot put: Ryan Crouser wins 22nd straight meet
Ryan Crouser has lined up for 22 shot put competitions since the start of 2020, and he has won all 22 of them. With the Final Three format in effect, Crouser is a little more vulnerable in a Diamond League meet than he would be at a traditional competition.
But Crouser isn’t just the best thrower in the world; he’s also the most consistent. In Lausanne, Olympic bronze medalist Tom Walsh saved his best for last, launching his sixth-round throw out to 22.10 meters. That’s a winning throw in most meets, but not with Crouser around, who went 22.64, seemingly without breaking a sweat. Crouser went over 22.40 meters on all five of his legal throws, including a meet-record 22.81 in round one.
Men’s pole vault: Nilsen upsets Duplantis
Olympic champ Mondo Duplantis took five jumps today and missed four of them, clearing 5.62 but only finishing fourth, his worst finish since June 2019. Instead, the win went to Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen of the USA, who was perfect through 5.82 meters — enough to defeat world champ Sam Kendricks, who cleared 5.82 on his second attempt.
Discuss Lausanne on the LetsRun.com messageboard
- Official Lausanne Live Thread
- Warholm runs 45.51… with no hurdles
- Still believe that Flo Jo’s 10.49 isn’t legit?
- Jakob – poor sportsman?
Video Show of Lausanne Recap Supporters Club podcast
What are you waiting for? Join the Supporters Club to get this as a podcast in your feed and more exclusive LetsRun.com content: