Sun | Jan 21, 2018

#RioGoldRush: History-chasing Fraser-Pryce, Francis and Thompson among Jamaicans in evening action

Published:Friday | August 12, 2016 | 2:40 PM

Robert Bailey, Gleaner

Jamaica's history-chasing sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will bow into action in the preliminary round of the women's 100m heat in today's evening-session at the Rio Olympic Games.

Fraser-Pryce is seeking to become the first woman to win three straight gold medals in the 100m at the Olympic Games. She will run out of lane nine in heat four. 

The diminutive sprinter has been dealing with a troublesome toe injury all season, which resulted in her going below 11 seconds only once in eight starts this season.

Fraser-Pryce's compatriot and rising star, Elaine Thompson will run out of lane nine in heat seven. Thompson, who matched Fraser-Pryce's national record of 10.70 at this year's National Championships, is a major contender for the gold medal.

The other Jamaican in the event, Chistania Williams will line up in lane seven in heat six, where she is down to face Trinidad and Tobago's Michelle-Lee Ahye.

Williams, a former Edwin Allen High School star athlete, surprised many when she ran a personal best 10.97 to finish third in the final at the National Championships behind Thompson and Fraser-Pryce in June.       

Meanwhile, national champion Javon Francis will also be action in the men's 400m this evening. Francis faced South Africa's world champion Wayde van Niekerk in heat three of the men's 400m.

Francis, a former Calabar High School star, will run out of lane nine while van Niekerk is drawn in lane seven. Rusheen McDonald will compete in heat six where he will face defending champion Kirani James of Grenada.   

McDonald, who has been having a below par season, will run out of lane five while James will start from lane six. Fiztroy Dunkley, who finished second at the National Championships behind Francis, will run out of lane six in heat one.

Aubrey Smith is listed in qualification group 'A' in the men's long jump with the in-form Damar Forbes lining up in the next group.

Forbes finished second at his last jump at the London Anniversary Games and also won his previous two competitions - the National Championships and the Monaco Diamond League.