SFP a cinch for 100 title at World Championships in Beijing
ONE thing guaranteed in Beijing at the World Championships is that Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will win the women's 100 metres title and give herself title number three after winning in Berlin in 2009 and in 2013 in Moscow.
The 'Pocket Rocket' looks the safest bet in any track event for the gold medal in Beijing.
When Fraser-Pryce won on both occasions, she sped to world-leading times, and with a season best of 10.74 seconds, she is expected to go much faster in Beijing, and we could see a sub 10.70 seconds from the world fastest female sprinter.
Known for her bullet start, she has added another arsenal to her armoury, as her top-end speed has improved dramatically this season, and this is not good news for her rivals, including the United States duo of Tori Bowie and English Gardner, along with the Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure and Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare.
What is more frightening for her rivals is that Fraser-Pryce's coach, Stephen Francis - a man who is hardly wrong - made a bold statement after his charge's 10.74 clocking at the Paris Diamond League, that she can go much faster.
In her last race on the circuit, what was very imposing was the way she dismissed the United States champion, Bowie, with ease in Stockholm to win easily, despite a less-than-impressive start.
Jamaica will be hoping for more medals here as veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown, Sherone Simpson and Natasha Morrison, in her first major Championships, will be gunning for good results. Campbell-Brown, who was second in 2005 and first in 2007 in Osaka, will find it more difficult this time around to be among the medals, as she will need big improvements on her season-best 10.99 seconds.
Despite Simpson's season-best 10.95 seconds in winning the Senior Pan Am Games title in Toronto, Canada, she will also have her hands full, as this time was done on a really fast track. Several of the athletes who were close to her then have not run close to the times recorded in Canada.
With Fraser-Pryce a cinch, it will be a dogfight for the other medals. The United States' Bowie and Gardner, along with Ahoure and Okagbare, are expected to have a very keen battle.
1 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (WL)
2 Blessing Okagbare
3 Tori Bowie