Tokyo, Japan – Megan Tapper, formerly Simmonds, brought Jamaica’s medals tally to four after she won bronze in the women’s 100m hurdles final at the Olympic Stadium on Monday.
The pint-sized athlete became the first-ever Jamaican to medal in the glamour event, clocking 12.55 seconds behind Olympic Record holder Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico in 12.37 seconds, and American World Record holder Kendra Harrison in 12.52 seconds. She has added to the gold, silver and bronze medals won in a clean sweep by her compatriots in the women’s 100m final on Saturday night.
Tapper’s teammate, the 20-year-old Britany Anderson, competing in her first Olympics, finished in ninth and last place in 13.24 seconds after hitting a few middle hurdles and losing rhythm.
“I went out there and I got a good start, I didn’t get left in the blocks and I just maintained the focus and did the best that I could in the middle of the race and ran, did my Veronica Campbell dip to the finish line and it got me a bronze medal, so I’m grateful,” beamed the jovial star athlete, as she spoke to the Jamaican media.
Prior to Tapper’s triumph, Shericka Jackson, the bronze medallist in the 100m final, misjudged her race in the first round of the 200m. Clearly trying to conserve as much energy as possible, having contested three rounds of the 100m, Jackson never got out of cruise control and finished in fourth position in 23.26 seconds (23.255), narrowly beaten by Italy’s Dalia Kaddari in 23.26 (23.251).
Her teammates Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah made easy progress as was expected.
They two also looked good in winning their semi-final races later in the evening to march into the final as clear favorites.
Also making progress to finals were Christopher Taylor, who was second in 44.92 seconds in the men’s 400m semi-finals and Janieve Russell in the women’s 400m hurdles semi-finals. Russell ran 54.10 seconds to trail home American Dalilah Muhammad with 53.30 seconds.
Earlier in the day, World Champion Tajay Gayle made a gallant effort in the men’s long jump but his injured left knee made it almost impossible.
Still, he jumped 7.69m to finish in 11th position after fouling his first two jumps.
His strategy was to get one big jump, which would place him in the final eight with a shot at a medal.