DOHA, Qatar – Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce created history, becoming the first woman to win four world titles in the 100m on Sunday night (29).
Fraser-Pryce, who had taken a two-year hiatus from global championships due to the birth of her son Zyon, who arrived a day after the 100m final at the London World Championships, obliterated the field bursting the tape at 10.71 seconds (0.1 m/s).
Fraser-Pryce’s winning effort was just a whisker outside the Jamaican national record of 10.70 held jointly by herself and teammate Elaine Thompson.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had looked a class apart from the moment she sped to 10.80 seconds in the heats, the fastest opening round ever at a global championship. She consolidated her favourite tag in the semi-finals with another sublime run of 10.81 seconds.
In the final Fraser-Pryce got her trademark start and after 50m it was not a matter if she would be caught but what her margin of victory would be after she opened up a two-metre lead at that stage. She dragged Asher-Smith, who won silver, to a personal best and national record of 10.83 seconds with Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee Ta Lou relegated to bronze in 10.90.
“I counted on my experience tonight,” said Fraser-Pryce.
“I saw the lights last night during the introduction of the men’s 100m final and I knew that it could get people flustered and so I was cool, calm and collective and ready to go. It took a lot of hard work to be here and to be able to do it after having my son is equally brilliant.”
Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson who was fifth at the London World Championships, moved up one place higher in Doha clocking 10.93 seconds. Since the Rio Olympics, Thompson has not medalled at a global championship and will be hoping to reverse that worrying trend in the 200m. A third Jamaican Jonielle Smith, a late replacement after the withdrawal of Briana Williams, was in the final and she ran creditably for sixth in 11.06 seconds just 0.02 seconds off her lifetime best.
Two hours earlier in the semi-finals, Trinidad & Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste (11.19) and Bahamian Tynia Gaither (11.20) failed to advance.
Jamaica grabbed silver in the first mixed relay at a world championships in a national record of 3:11.78 behind Team USA led by multiple world champion Allyson Felix in a world record 3:09.34.
The Jamaican team was ecstatic afterwards. “It was a very good race, it’s the first time it was happening, and I was more excited than nervous to run,’ said Tiffany James.
Her teammate and anchor leg runner Javon Francis weighed in, “I had a huge gap to make up, but my friends call me the 4×4 king and so I went out there and did my best. I did not see the Bahrain runner, but when I felt him on my shoulder, I said easy man I’m at the line first, so go and take bronze.”
The 200 metres was the first track event on day three, and the Caribbean had mixed fortunes. Bahamian Terrance Jones was disqualified for a lane infringement in the first heat. In the third heat, Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez flew around the bend and left 100m finalist Yohan Blake in his wake.
Quinonez burst the tape in 20.08 (0.8 m/s) with Blake a distant second in 20.23 with Jamaican born Switzerland sprinter Alex Wilson claiming third in 20.40.
NACAC champion Kyle Greaux of Trinidad and Tobago looked in cruise control en route to winning heat four in 20.19 seconds (+0.7 m/s).
In heat five, Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer (20.37) faded to third after coming off the curve level with Great Britain’s Miguel Francis and Canada’s Aaron Brown. Brown won the event in 20.10 (+1.0 m/s) after edging Antiguan born Francis (20.11) on the line.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards caught American favourite Noah Lyles at the tape in the final heat. Richards won in 20.23 seconds with Lyles 0.03 seconds back. Jamaica’s Andre Ewers, who initially finished fourth in 20.41 seconds, faced disqualification for a lane violation. The Jamaican team management filed an appeal, asking for Ewers to be reinstated due to lack of visual aid from another angle. The Jury of Appeal met and after examining the video of the race of the alleged infraction, was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that a line violation was committed.
Christian Coleman, the 100m champion, withdrew from the 200m after feeling sore from his exploits the night before.
Elsewhere in the men’s triple jump, defending champion Christian Taylor rebounded after committing two fouls in the first and second rounds to leapfrog teammate William Claye in a thrilling contest. Taylor uncorked 17.92m in the fifth round some 18cm beyond Claye’s best effort (17.74m) to take his fourth world title and third in a row.
“Fortunately, I have been in this position before, it was the same situation in London 2012,” said Taylor concerning playing catch up. “When you are going for a record you just have to put it all out there. The competition was fierce to the end, people were passing each other, but this is what we need to keep the triple jump alive. It was also good for the fans.”
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