Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas opened her 2022 outdoor season with a pair of victories after bagging the women’s sprint double on a windy fourth day at Texas Relays 2022 at the Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium here in Austin, Texas, on Saturday (26).
Thomas kicked off her campaign with a windy 10.92 seconds (+2.9 m/s) victory in the women’s invitational 100 meters after fending off a challenge from Tamara Clark in a very close battle between the two training partners in the final meters of the race.
It was the third sub-11 seconds clocking for Thomas in all conditions, while she owns a personal best of 11.00 seconds. Read more: Updated with video: Distin sets Jamaican high jump record with 1.96m at Texas Relays 2022
The 25-year-old who is coached by Tonja Buford-Bailey, finished behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah and Namibian Christine Mboma at the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer.
Clark, a collegiate star at the University of Alabama last season, finished in 10.94 seconds to her American teammate on Saturday, which was the fifth sub-11 seconds performance of her career in any condition.
Bahamian Tynia Gaither ran 11.23 secs for third place with fourth going to Brittany Aveni in 11.35.
Meanwhile, Thomas completed the sprint double with another fast wind-assisted clocking after she again held off Clark to win the 200m invitational race in 21.69 secs, supported by a massive 3.1 m/s following wind.
Clark challenged the Olympic bronze medalist in the final 50 meters, but Thomas, who owns a lifetime best of 21.61 secs, set to win the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer, was able to hold her form to cross the finish line with a big smile.
Clark stopped the clock at 21.72 for second place, with sprint hurdler Kendra Harrison getting third with a quality time of 22.19.
Harrison was also doubling up at the Texas Relays 2022 after she recorded a swift wind-aided 12.32 seconds to take the invitational women’s 100m hurdles earlier in the program.
Tynia Gaither was fourth in the 200m at 22.46, while second one winner Brittany Aveni ran 22.55 for sixth overall.
Several top professional athletes used the meet to begin their outdoor season after they continue preparations for the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22 in Eugene, in July.
However, among the missing athletes in Austin, this weekend, were American sprinters Sha’Carri Richardson and Ronnie Baker who had been scheduled to run as part of respective relay teams but never showed up.
Complete results from the meet here