It was billed as the race of the weekend, and the women’s 200m duly delivered a contest for the ages at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday afternoon (27), with Tori Bowie upsetting the odds and flying to victory in an IAAF Diamond League record of 21.77.
In truth, the race was as good as over the moment they turned for home, with Bowie already holding a sizeable advantage over the world’s fastest women.
The Olympic 200m champion, Elaine Thompson, simply had no response to the US sprinter’s pace, nor did world champion Dafne Schippers.
In the end, it was Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo who got closest, the Bahamian powering home from lane eight to take second in a national record of 21.91.
Thompson came home strongly for third in 21.98, with Schippers fourth in 22.30.
It exemplified the depth of the race that Allyson Felix, one of the greatest 200m runners in history, could manage no better than fifth in 22.33, just ahead of Marie-Josee Ta Lou (22.37).
“I felt really good before the race, both physically and mentally,” said Bowie. “I tried something new this race. I came in not putting any pressure on myself.
“I don’t look at it as a big deal because I’m just preparing for the national championships. I knew that we had some 400m runners in the race, so I thought: oh my god, their closing is going to be amazing,’ so I knew I couldn’t slow down or they would catch me.”
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