Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Jamaica's WC medal history - the women's 100

Published:Monday | August 17, 2015 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates winning the women's 200-metre final at the World Athletics Championships in the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, August 16, 2013.

As good as Jamaica's 100-metre men have been in the World Championships, their female counterparts have, in some ways, been even better. They have three gold medals just like the men do, but have sprinted to more medals more often.

Leading the line at this week's World Championships in Beijing is Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who is returning to the scene of her first international triumph.

The women have 10 medals overall, compared to eight for the men. That margin is built on a four-medal foundation established by Merlene Ottey.

However, while Ottey has two silver and two bronze medals each, gold has come to Jamaica courtesy of Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2007 and Fraser-Pryce in 2009 and 2013.

The little rocket made history on her first big-meet visit to Beijing in 2008, by winning Jamaica's first-ever Olympic gold medal in the women's 100 metres.

If she wins again in Beijing, she will be the first woman to win the World 100m three times.

On current form, a win for VCB would be a long shot, but if the redoubtable warrior were to cross the line first, she would join Fraser-Pryce and American Marion Jones as the only two-time winners of the 100m in World Championship history.

Jamaica, with Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart in 2009, the USA and East Germany are the only countries to produce one-two finishes in the World 100 metres.

The East Germans did it twice, with Marlies Gohr and Marita Koch in 1983, and with Silke Gladisch and Heike Drechsler in 1987. Those two doubles are a sore point for Jamaica. The East Germans and 1983 bronze-medal winner, Dianne Williams of the USA, are all now known to be beneficiaries of illegal performance enhancers.

Declassified secret service documents have outlined the state-organised steroid-boosting programme that powered the East Germans from the 1970s to 1990, and Williams later confessed to illegal drug use at the time of her 1983 bronze.

Remove Gohr, Koch, Williams, Gladisch, and Drechsler from the results, and Ottey is left as the winner in both 1983 and 1987.

If history ever makes amends, then Ottey will have two gold medals to match her pair from the 200m. It's an adjustment the sprint queen's great rÈsumÈ desperately needs.

- Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980.