Hunger for success key to 100-meter gold win at worlds, says American Bowie

Reuters
American Tori Bowie wins the women's 100-meter world title, making up for her silver at last year's Olympics while Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson struggles home in fifth place.
Reuters
Reuters

Tori Bowie of the United States just pips Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast to the finish line in winning the women's 100-meter final at the IAAF world championships in London on August 6, 2017.

American Tori Bowie believes her desire to win played a significant part in her well-timed dip at the finish line to claim the women's 100 meters world championship gold on Sunday.

The momentum of 26-year-old Bowie's dip sent her sprawling onto the track but she had done enough to edge past Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou by one hundredth of a second.

"When I saw it pop up on the board and it was all confirmed, I thought, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this just happened'," Bowie told reporters.

"I don't know where the finish (the dive) comes from. I guess just hunger, determination, I'm motivated, I want it.

"That's the best part of my race, the last 40 meters. I'm currently still working on the beginning. It's slowly getting better. I'm thankful with the slow progress."

Bowie, who finished in 10.85 seconds, went one better than her silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year.

Bowie was considered by many as a better fit for the 200 race but she insisted on focusing on the shorter distance in London.

"I bet I'm the only person in the world that thought I could come out here and win the 100 meters tonight," Bowie added.

"I think the rest of the world was telling me, why are you choosing the 100 over the 200? This is how I'm feeling, this is the event I want to be the world champion in and it happened tonight."

In fact, in 2012, Bowie sat at home in Sand Hill, Mississippi, when the Olympics were being held in London and watched the world's greatest sporting event race by without her.

As a 21-year-old long jumper who had missed the US trials with injury, she gazed at the 200  final on television that night and, in a Eureka moment, was moved to suggest to her grandmother: "I really think I can beat those ladies".

Golden double

Five years on, in the very same stadium on Sunday night, Bowie, the long jumper turned sprinter, brought her prediction to life by becoming world 100 champion — and for her next trick, she is already thinking of a golden double.

And her opponents are increasingly learning to fear her.

This race was supposed to be all about the dominant Jamaican Elaine Thompson, who had comfortably defeated Bowie in their two previous meetings in last year's Olympic final and this summer's Diamond League race in Shanghai.

The Netherlands' Dafne Schippers finished third while Thompson faded to fifth.

Yet while Thompson underperformed in a way she could not explain after a superb semifinal run, Bowie came on strong to underline the quality that she had also demonstrated in the Rio Games.

After winning silver in the 100 there and bronze in the 200, she completed her set of medals with gold in the relay.

"Don't get me wrong," she said in an interview later. "I'm extremely content with my silver and bronze medals. But once I won the gold, I fell in love."

Now, she has her eyes trained on the 200.

"In the US trials, I ran four days in a row. I'm a little beaten up but at least I've got a couple of days rest here," she smiled.

Bowie loves the idea of gold now.

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