Fraser-Pryce spares blushes
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Stephenie McPherson showed serious promise. Novlene Williams-Mills is contemplating retirement. Hansle Parchment suffered another injury setback. Kaliese Spencer was disqualified. And Andrew Riley crashed out of the sprint hurdles final.
It was all going wrong for Jamaica on the third day of competition at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics at Moscow's Luzhiniki Stadium until Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - eyes bulging, fists clenched before kneeling on the mondo running track, which was almost bright as her pink-tipped coloured hair - crossed the finish line in the 100m final way ahead of the pack.
The double Olympic champion was Jamaica's lone bright spark on a miserable day. And what a spark she was!
Despite not getting the sub-10.70 mark that she was looking for, Fraser-Pryce undoubtedly established herself as the world's best female sprinter, winning by almost five metres ahead of a high-quality field with a time of 10.71.
The time tied for the eighth-fastest time by a woman in history.
AMBITION NO SECRET
However, the MVP Track Club star, who has a personal best of 10.70, has made no secret of her ambition to take her time into the 10.6-second realm, a mark that she promises will be met before the end of the season.
"I wasn't thinking too much about the time. I was more focused on execution," Fraser-Pryce said.
"It's unfortunate that I didn't get to 10.6, but I got the gold medal. The time will come, definitely before the season ends," Fraser-Pryce said.
Cote d' Ivoire's (Ivory Coast) Murielle Ahoure was second in 10.95, with American Carmerlita Jeter finishing third in 10.94. Kerron Stewart, Fraser-Pryce's Jamaican teammate, was fifth in 10.97.
"I am looking forward to going to Italy after the championships and getting some rest, and I think I will be hitting that 10.6 in the first race, so of course I am looking forward to that," she promised.
Only three women have gone faster than Fraser-Pryce: Americans Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), Carmelita Jeter (10.64), and Marion Jones (10.65).
Earlier, McPherson, 49.99, ran a mature race in the 400m final that belied her inexperience at this level and finished fourth.
The event was won by Christine Ohuruogu (Great Britain) in a national record 49.41 seconds, ahead of Botswana's Amantle Monstho, who posted the same time, while Russia's Anna Krivoshapka, 49.78, was third.
"I think I took too long to run, but I will be back," McPherson said.
Williams-Mills said she would take some time to think about her future after finishing eight, in 51.49. She has had a long and successful battle against breast cancer.
Riley, 13.51, also missed out on a medal, finishing eighth in the
110m hurdles final. He clipped the eighth hurdle while second, and lost his form and balance while running next to eventual winner, the United States' David Oliver (13.00).
Oliver's countryman, Ryan Wilson (13.13) was second, with Russia's Sergey Shubenkov (13.24) third.
Earlier, during the semi-finals, Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment suffered a cramp to his right calf and crashed into the last hurdle, before being stretchered off the track.
There was also disaster for standout 400m hurdler, Kaliese Spencer, who was disqualified after crossing the line first in her heat for carrying her trail leg around, and not over, the second hurdle. She was adjudged to have violated rule 168.7 (a), which states "Trailed left/right leg below the horizontal plane of the top of hurdle at the instant of clearance."
Nickiesha Wilson, 55.75, who came third in her heat, as well as Ristananna Tracey, 55.94, who qualified as one of the best non-automatic qualifiers, are through to today's semis at 10:05 a.m. (Jamaica time).
All three men in the 400m hurdles moved on to the semis, set for 10:40 a.m., with Leford Green, 49.45, Isa Phillips, 49.57 and Annsert Whyte, 49.63 all gaining automatic qualification.