Dash occasions are one of many highlights at any Olympics and Tokyo 2020 can be no totally different.
This 12 months the ladies’s 100m stands out as some of the hotly-anticipated race of the Video games.
The quickest girls on the observe, together with Britain’s main medal hope Dina Asher-Smith, line up in Saturday’s semi-finals from 11:15 BST, with the ultimate at 13:50.
Listed here are 5 causes you need to tune in to look at.
GB’s real contender
From a British perspective, BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram says “we have got an actual contender” in Asher-Smith.
“We’ve not at all times had anyone with an opportunity of if not successful it, definitely successful a medal,” stated Cram. “Dina is aware of that she’s going to must be at her greatest, however she’s in my high three.”
GB haven’t had a lady in an Olympic 100m closing since 2008. Jeanette Kwakye, who completed sixth in Beijing, is assured the quickest British lady of all time can win a medal.
“We all know, as a 200m world champion, what Dina is able to, however she’s additionally thrilling as a 100m runner. She goes to must be at her best possible to problem for medals,” she stated.
“What we love about Dina and why we’re so assured about her medal probabilities is that she’s a championship performer and a competitor and she or he is aware of how one can do it.”
After ending eleventh quickest within the heats, Asher-Smith will run within the first Tokyo 2020 100m semi-final – in opposition to Elaine Thompson-Herah – at 11:15 BST (19:15 native time) on Saturday.
‘It’s so way more thrilling than the lads’s proper now’
“Everyone knows Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, everyone knows Elaine Thompson-Herah. Dina is turning into a giant title,” stated the 1984 1,500m Olympic silver medallist.
“On the lads’s aspect it’s an open race. Anybody who makes the lads’s 100m closing can most likely genuinely line up and suppose .. ‘I may perhaps win a medal right here’. That is good in some respects however by way of bringing consideration to the occasion, it isn’t Bolt and it isn’t [Justin] Gatlin and even [Yohan] Blake.
“It is lacking a number of the characters we have got to know over the past 10 years. The ladies although have gotten the characters, they have the well-known individuals.”
Even higher, the highest contenders are all within the form of their lives, says former British 100m champion Kwakye.
“It is tremendous thrilling to see all of them line up and be able to go for a 100m that for the primary time in a very long time goes to overhaul what we take into consideration the lads. It’s so way more thrilling than the lads’s proper now.”
No followers? No drawback
All through the Covid-19 pandemic, athletes have frequently competed in empty stadia or in entrance of only a few followers. Their instances have not suffered.
In June, Fraser-Pryce turned the second-fastest lady in historical past after operating 10.63 seconds in Kingston. Solely world document holder Florence Griffith-Joyner has run sooner.
“All of the athletes are saying the identical factor, that if you go into your blocks, it would not matter if there are 100,000 individuals there or no one. We’ll nonetheless see large performances,” stated Cram.
Kwakye added: “Typically that crowd can add an additional share for the house athletes, however there are not any residence athletes concerned right here.
“That is all very a lot about pleasure, being the perfect and who’s in a position to do this so I do not suppose the group will make that a lot of a distinction. For certain I feel we’re nonetheless going to have a spectacle.”
Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou ran the fifth-fastest time of the 12 months in Friday’s 100m heats in Tokyo with a blistering 10.78.
It is huge open
With nobody standout performer this 12 months, you’ll be able to’t decide a winner simply.
Jamaican trio Shericka Jackson, Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce have all gone under 10.8 seconds, a feat most spectacular for the latter, who is simply getting sooner after two years away from the game to have her son Zyon.
“Shelly-Ann has received it twice earlier than in 2008 and 2012. She has a number of world medals. She is aware of how one can win and she or he comes into this within the form of her life and as a mom, so her motivations will change, every little thing about it’s totally different. Her priorities are totally different which makes it tremendous thrilling,” stated Kwakye.
Her fellow Jamaican Jackson has dropped down from the 400m and Kwakye says the 26-year-old may spring a shock in Tokyo.
“Shericka is doing such an incredible unbelievable job,” she stated. “Being in that place is nice for her as a result of she’s bought nothing to lose. No one is anticipating something of her so it is going to be actually fascinating seeing how she goes via the rounds being fairly relaxed about all of it.”
Whereas Asher-Smith has solely clocked the Tenth-fastest time this 12 months, she is but to lose a race and stormed to victory over Fraser-Pryce in Could.
It truly is anybody’s recreation.
2021’s standout star is not there
Earlier than she obtained a one-month ban that might rule her out of the Olympics after testing optimistic for marijuana, US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was arguably the 100m favorite heading into Tokyo.
Till Fraser-Pryce eclipsed her time in Kingston, the 21-year-old dash sensation was the quickest lady on this planet this 12 months and the sixth-fastest in historical past after operating 10.72 in Miami.
Kwakye says her absence from Tokyo makes the race much more intriguing.
“She has precipitated such a stir as a result of she’s such an impressive expertise. Individuals are nonetheless going to be talking about her,” she stated.
“She thinks that she may have gone there and received, overwhelmed two of the strongest Jamaicans. Individuals will nonetheless be watching to see what all of the fuss is about.”
Cram added: “I am disenchanted for the game.
“We have all been watching her for 3 or 4 years as a result of she’s been a prodigious younger expertise and smashing information in school.
“I hope we’ll see her racing the remainder of the season. She may do if she desires to as a result of her ban will end. Subsequent 12 months the World Championships are in Eugene so I absolutely anticipate her again. The subsequent three or 4 years she could possibly be the dominant pressure.”