By Steve Keating
LIMA (Reuters) – Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson may be the biggest name competing in a marquee event at the Pan Am Games but the Olympic champion failed to shine as she won gold in the 100 metres on Wednesday.
A chilled crowd at the Estadio Atletico had hoped to see something special from the 2016 Rio Games champion but cold conditions and a ho-hum field delivered an ordinary result with Thompson crossing unchallenged in a time of 11.18 seconds.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye took the silver in 11.27 and Brazil’s Vitoria Cristina Rosa the bronze (11.30).
While Thompson has clocked the season’s best time of 10.73, her effort on Wednesday was not enough to crack the top 20 this year but more than enough to successfully keep in Jamaican hands the title won by four years ago by Sherone Simpson in Toronto.
“It was cold but I know everyone out there was cold,” Thompson told reporters.
“I just came out here to use this as preparation for the world championships.
“It’s my first time (here), I don’t think there is anything wrong with being high profile athlete here representing myself and my country.”
While Thompson was blase about her win, Mike Rodgers was over the moon after grabbing the United States the men’s 100m gold for the first time in 20 years.
Rodgers winning time of 10.09 was also unspectacular but the 34-year-old sprinter could not hide his delight at putting the U.S. back on top.
“Very, very happy to bring gold back to the U.S. for the first time since Bernard Williams won,” smiled Rodgers. “I brought home the gold.
“It was cold and I didn’t think I was going to run that fast. I got through it, my start wasn’t the best but I just focused on my race and just out executed everybody.
“My first gold at senior level at my first Pan American Games, I’m so happy to finally have some success.
“I got over the mountain today.”
Brazil’s Paulo Andre de Oliveira took the silver in 10.16 while Antigua and Barbuda’s Cejhae Greene completed the podium in 10.23.
While Jamaica is well known for their prowess in the short sprints there was also gold on Wednesday for Natoya Goule, who became the first from her country to win the women’s 800m.
On the opening day of the athletics competition on Tuesday, Jamaican discus thrower Fedrick Dacres wiped out one of the Pan Am Games oldest records with a toss of 67.68m that bettered the mark set in 1983.
(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)