Running in the outside lane as she did when she won the National Championships in June, Tapper nearly took second place from world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States. The photo finish camera placed the Jamaican third in 12.55 seconds with Harrison a smidge ahead at 12.54.
The gold went to Jasmin Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico in 12.36 seconds.
Tapper lowered her personal best to 12.53 seconds in the semi-final to move up 6th on the all-time Jamaican performance list and she was overjoyed with her medal winning effort. "I got out. I think I got a pretty good start and I focused on the ending part like I knew I could finish. It wasn't a personal best like I would have hoped for but I give God all the glory the same way", she reviewed with reporters in Tokyo.
She's expecting opportunities to lower her personal best after the Olympics. "I got a bronze medal for which I'm really, really, really, really grateful because I have a good amount of season left so it's possible", she added.
She wasn't the only Jamaican in the final as Britany Anderson placed eighth. Earlier in the semi-finals, the 20-year-old Anderson clocked 12.40 seconds to move to match Janeek Brown as the second fastest Jamaican of all time.
Tapper's bronze medal extends a tradition of Jamaican greatness in the sprint hurdles. Brigitte Foster-Hylton and Danielle Williams won the World Championships in 2009 and 2015 respectively, with Michelle Freeman winning Jamaica's first World Championship medal in 1997.
The late Dionne Rose, Freeman, Foster-Hylton, Lacena Golding-Clarke and Delloreen Ennis-London have all reached Olympic finals but Tapper is the first to step to the podium.