Gabby Thomas qualifies for 200m final with 3rd-fastest time.
Reaching the Olympic women’s 200-meter dash final briefly escaped Gabby Thomas’ control Monday.
The top two runners in each of the three semifinals qualified for Tuesday morning’s final automatically, leaving
two open lanes for the next two quickest runners. Thomas, a Florence native, finished third in the second
semifinal in 22.01 seconds. That was faster than anyone in the first semifinal, but she needed no more than two
faster in the third semifinal quicker than her to qualify for Tuesday morning’s run for gold, which starts at 8:50
Gabby Thomas The three event’s three fastest times emerged from the second semifinal, allowing Thomas to race for gold.
Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah won the heat in 21.66, one of the six fastest times ever. Namibia’s Christine
Mboma edged Thomas down the final stretch for the second consecutive round, hitting the line in 21.97 to
automatically qualify for the final.
“I want a gold medal. I’m excited to go for it,” Thomas said on the USA broadcast.
Thomas posted the second-fastest time in history in winning the U.S. Olympic Trials (21.61) but didn’t break 22
seconds in either of her first two runs in Tokyo.
Gabby Thomas also chased down Thomas in Sunday night’s first round, though the Williston Northampton and Harvard
grad smoothly advanced to the 200 semifinals Sunday, placing second in her heat in 22.2 seconds.
Thomas, making her Olympic debut, shot out of the start and led for most of the way before Mboma turned on
the jets to beat her to the line (22.11). Thomas ran from lane two, chasing the entire field form the staggered
start around the turn. She posted the second-quickest time in the opening round.
Mboma excels at the 400 but was barred from running that event by World Athletics because of naturally high
MacLean moving on
UMass graduate Heather MacLean secured a spot in the women’s 1,500 semifinals after her Olympic debut
Sunday. She placed fifth in the third heat, crossing the line in 4:02.4.
The top six finishers in each heat advanced automatically followed by the next six fastest times.
World-record holder Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon of Keyna won the heat at 4:01.4.
MacLean will run in the second semifinal at 6:12 a.m. Wednesday. She had the fifth-fastest time in the first round.
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Olympics: Gabby Thomas qualifies for 200m final with 3rd-fastest time