Fraser-Pryce upstages Thompson-Herah in a Jamaican women's 100m romp

Updated on Jul 18, 2022 02:12 PM IST

Jamaica make it a clean sweep in the women's race a day after the US men's dominant show in the 100m at the world athletics in Eugene, US

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica reacts after winning gold in the final in the women's 100-meter run at the World Athletics Championships(AP)
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica reacts after winning gold in the final in the women's 100-meter run at the World Athletics Championships(AP)
ByAvishek Roy, New Delhi

A Jamaican clean sweep of the women’s 100m at the athletics World Championships in Eugene on Sunday night (US time) was never in doubt, though the order on the podium reflected the furious jockeying to stay at the top. A year after her Tokyo Olympics loss to compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce exacted revenge in style at the historic Hayward Field, sprinting to her fifth world title in a spectacular exhibition of speed, power and longevity.

The 35-year-old mother was at her explosive best. She was fastest off the blocks and raced ahead of the field in a start-to-finish 10.67sec blitz, setting a new championship record. Shericka Jackson was second, clocking a personal best of 10.73secs with Olympic champion Thompson-Herah third (10.81s). Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce and Jackson was the order in Tokyo.

“Today was a fantastic day, I did it for my country again,” said Fraser-Pryce, after a joyous victory lap that included obliging hundreds of fans with selfies. “I can't even imagine the amount of times I've had setbacks and I've bounced back and I'm here again,” said one of the greatest woman sprinters ever. “It is special. It's my fifth world title (100m) and at 35!”

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With a staggering 10 individual and relay gold from the world championships in addition to her three Olympic titles, Fraser-Pryce is showing no signs of slowing down, even evoking comparisons with Usain Bolt, who won three 100m world titles, though he missed out at Beijing in 2011 due to disqualification.

Twelve months ago, Fraser-Pryce was left distraught in the Japanese capital. Hands on hips, she walked on the track in disbelief after finishing an incredible 100m race in second place, simply blown away by the blistering pace of Thompson-Herah.

Fraser-Pryce had carried great form to Tokyo, but Thompson-Herah was so dominant, he left a gap so wide she could look back like Bolt did on the finish line and still set an Olympic record (10.61s).

GREAT RIVALS

Fraser-Pryce was the one to beat going into World Championships, having clocked three of the fastest times of the year. She clocked 10.67 in Nairobi in May and at the Paris Diamond League in June, and 10.70 in the heats of the Jamaican championships. Jackson’s season’s best was 10.77 and Thompson-Herah’s 10.79.

On Sunday evening, Thompson-Herah and Jackson were both looking to win their first individual world titles. They could not end that wait.

Fraser-Pryce won the first of her two Olympic 100m titles at Beijing 2008. She won the world title in 2009 (Berlin), 2013 (Moscow), 2015 (Beijing) and 2019 (Doha). The ‘Pocket Rocket’ is only getting faster. With the younger Thompson-Herah, 30, and Jackson, 28, pushing her, the trio is providing fireworks in every major international competition.

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One huge prize is Florence Griffith-Joyner's world record of 10.49 set in 1988. Last year, Fraser-Pryce ran the second fastest ever time (10.63s) in the run-up to Tokyo. Thompson-Herah lowered it (10.61s) in Tokyo, and two weeks later came agonisingly close to Griffith-Joyner’s record with a jaw-dropping 10.54s at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. It now stands as the all-time second best time while Fraser-Pryce's 10.60s in Lausanne last year is third. Both have made getting Griffith-Joyner’s mark as their target.

“This season I am definitely looking forward to running 10.5 and possibly 10.4 because that’s the aim," Fraser-Pryce said this season. "I think I am on my way to that. I just have to continue to trust that goal and I’ll just continue to put in work.”

A day after Fred Kerley led a US 1-2-3 finish in the men's 100m, Jamaica did that in the women's race. The Jamaican trio will look for another sweep in the 200m.

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