World Champs Women’s 100 — SAFP Does It Again

Yesss!! It’s record title No. 5 — and a Jamaican sweep — for incomparable Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

DAY 3 OF THIS WORLDS was one for the history books as the U.S. team set medal count records. In the last event, though, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Team Jamaica made history of their own in a blazing century.

Leading the first-ever sweep of WC women’s 100 medals, über-vet Fraser-Pryce claimed her fifth title, the first women to amass a collection so large.

She rushed across the line in 10.67, a meet record — smokin’ swift for a 35-year-old mom, or anybody — to win from her two teammates who were part of the Olympic sweep a year ago.

In Tokyo the order was Elaine Thompson-Herah, SAFP and Shericka Jackson for gold-silver-bronze. This time Jackson sprinted to silver with a 10.73 PR as ETH’s 10.81 held off Dina Asher-Smith by 0.02.

DAS’s 10.83 equaled the British Record she set placing 2nd to Fraser-Pryce at the last Worlds in Doha 3 years ago, and Mujinga Kambundji (10.91), American Aleia Hobbs (10.92) and Marie-Josée Ta Lou (10.93) led second American Melissa Jefferson (11.03) at the finish.

The total of 7 under 11-flat surpassed the previous high of 6 in a WC final from ’09. Overall best-ever marks-for-place were equaled in 4th & 6th, and Ta Lou’s mark was the fastest ever run for 7th.

Third American TeeTee Terry showed promise with a 10.95 heat but her 11.04 semi was insufficient for advancement from a round in which Jackson (10.84), Asher-Smith (10.89), Thompson-Herah (10.82) and Ta Lou (10.87) all dashed sub-10.9.

Fraser-Pryce’s 10.93 semi III win from Hobbs (10.95) may have been the slowest, albeit with the friendliest wind reading, but that troubled the Pocket Rocket not even slightly.

Just over 2 hours later during introductions for the final, SAFP beamed a thousand-watt smile, head topped with a braid-festooned blonde, green & black wig — one of “about 10,” she said she packed for the Worlds trip — looking as composed as a contented cucumber.

Slotted in lane 6, the defending champ — who claimed her prior titles in ’09, ’13, ’15 & ’19 — had Hobbs and Asher-Smith to her outside, with the rest arrayed in corridors 1–5 in the order Kambundji, Jefferson, Jackson, Thompson-Herah and Ta Lou.

From the gun, Fraser-Pryce raced in it to win it. Ahead by inches at 10m, after she rose from drive phase and got into her rat-a-tat-tat high-RPMs head-back stride around 25m, she and Jackson commanded at the fore.

Kambundji and Asher-Smith rolled out quick also but over the final 40 Thompson-Herah charged up to solidify the sweep.

A stride out from the finish stripe, Fraser-Pryce threw up her right arm, index finger extended.

Jamaica’s boisterous support crew — large in number, yellow-green-and-black in costume — raised up a cacophony of joyful celebration as three sprinters, all beaming now, hugged and accepted hugs from their competitors.

“It’s definitely special,” said SAFP, running the gauntlet of the mixed zone and mindful of a 200 heat coming up in less than 24 hours. “It’s my fifth World Championship where I’ve won the title. And I’m doing it being 35 when so many persons believe that when women turn 35, it somehow diminishes our gift, our talent.

“But I’m able to still line up and to compete, and that is very special because I’ve been competing with so many other women throughout the years, and they’re not competing anymore. To be able to still be here, just to show other women that you can start from anywhere and you can still experience success, not in your 20s, but in your 30s.”

Now, if there were any doubt before, the greatest woman’s 100 performer in WC history — even though Thompson-Herah has shone brighter at the two most recent Olympics — Fraser-Pryce said her clear 0.06 victory margin met her expectations.

“I knew I was in good shape and I just needed to execute,” she said. “There are so many things that can happen in a final as an athlete, and you’re thinking about so many things. So to be able to come away with the win is always good, ’cause that way whatever it is that needs to be fixed, you can fix it for the next race.”

That should work for the 200, in which she has one previous gold, from Moscow ’13.


FINAL (July 17; wind +0.8)

(temperature 77F/25C; humidity 44%)

1. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jam) 10.67 (=WL);

2. Shericka Jackson (Jam) 10.73 PR (=7, x W);

3. Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jam) 10.81;

4. Dina Asher-Smith (GB) 10.83 =NR;

5. Mujinga Kambundji (Swi) 10.91;

6. Aleia Hobbs (US) 10.92;

7. Marie-Josée Ta Lou (CI) 10.93;

8. Melissa Jefferson (US) 11.03.

(best-ever mark-for-place: =4, =6, 7)

HEATS (July 16)

I(0.7)–1. Jackson 11.02; 2. Zoe Hobbs (NZ) 11.08 =NR; 3. Anthonique Strachan (Bah) 11.08; 4. Imani Lansiquot (GB) 11.24; 5. Xiaojing Liang (Chn) 11.25; 6. Olga Safronova (Kaz) 11.65; 7. Mudhawi Al-Shammari (Kuw) 11.91.

II(-0.2)–1. Fraser-Pryce 10.87; 2. Daryll Neita (GB) 10.95; 3. Gina Lückenkemper (Ger) 11.09; 4. Tynia Gaither (Bah) 11.16; 5. Manqi Ge (Chn) 11.17; 6. Fatmata Awolo (SL) 11.77; 7. Amya Clarke (StK) 11.98.

III(0.2)–1. Thompson-Herah 11.15; 2. Grace Nwokocha (Ngr) 11.16; 3. Zaynab Dosso (Ita) 11.26; 4. Joella Lloyd (Ant) 11.27; 5. Diana Vaisman (Isr) 11.29; 6. Crystal Emmanuel (Can) 11.48; 7. Yasmine Amr Al-Dabbagh (Sau) 13.21 =NR.

IV(0.8)–1. Ta Lou 10.92; 2. TeeTee Terry (US) 10.95; 3. Kemba Nelson (Jam) 11.10; 4. Carina Horn (SA) 11.29; 5. Géraldine Frey (Swi) 11.30; 6. Patrizia van der Weken (Lux) 11.34; 7. KaAlieena Bien (MHL) 14.71 PR.

V(1.2)–1. Asher-Smith 10.84; 2. Julien Alfred (StL) 11.05; 3. Aminatou Seyni (Nig) 11.09; 4. Murielle Ahouré-Demps (CI) 11.16; 5. Vitoria Cristina Rosa (Bra) 11.20; 6. Alexandra Burghardt (Ger) 11.29; 7. Hereiti Bernardino (PYF) 12.90.

VI(0.1)–1. Hobbs 11.04; 2. Michelle-Lee Ahye (Tri) 11.18; 3. Ofonime Odiong (Bhr) 11.28; 4. Khamica Bingham (Can) 11.30; 5. Ajla Del Ponte (Swi) 11.41; 6. Jasmine Abrams (Guy) 11.55; 7. Zarinae Sapong (NMI) 12.98 PR.

VII(-0.1)–1. Kambundji 10.97; 2. Jefferson 11.03; 3. Ewa Swoboda (Pol) 11.07; 4. Bree Masters (Aus) 11.29 PR; 5. Maria Isabel Pérez (Spa) 11.30; 6. Lorène Dorcas Bazolo (Por) 11.44; 7. Jovita Arunia (SOL) 13.15 PR.

SEMIS (July 17)

I(-0.2)–1. Jackson 10.84; 2. Asher-Smith 10.89; 3. Terry 11.04; 4. Nwokocha 11.16; 5. Seyni 11.21; 6. Nelson 11.25; 7. Ahouré-Demps 11.25;… fs—Alfred.

II(-0.2)–1. Thompson-Herah 10.82; 2. Ta Lou 10.87; 3. Jefferson 10.92; 4. Kambundji 10.96; 5. Strachan 10.98 PR; 6. Swoboda 11.08; 7. Ge 11.13; 8. Odiong 11.56.

III(0.4)–1. Fraser-Pryce 10.93; 2. A. Hobbs 10.95; 3. Neita 10.97; 4. Lückenkemper 11.08; 5. Z. Hobbs 11.13; 6. Ahye 11.24; 7. Dosso 11.28;… fs—Gaither.