Mon | Aug 2, 2021

Diamond Debate | No stopping Sha’Carri

Published:Sunday | May 23, 2021 | 12:20 AM

Andre Lowe: The Diamond League returns and the women’s 100m in Gateshead will certainly grab a lot of the attention with sprinting great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce coming up against hotshot American Sha’Carri Richardson.

Raymond GrAham: What a craker this will be as Fraser-Pryce, the most decorated female sprinter, will be hoping to start her season in the event on a high. For the first time at this level, she will not be under the guidance of her legendary coach, Stephen Francis and it will be very interesting to see what she has to offer.

Andre Lowe: It’s hard to predict what we will see from Fraser-Pryce given that this will be her first international 100m since September 2019. She did compete in the event locally on four occasions last year and ran 11.00 or faster in three of those races, but she’s going up against a lady who has already gone 10.7 three times this year in Richardson.

Raymond Graham: Yes. Richardson is red-hot at the moment and I expect her to do something special because in addition to Fraser- Pryce, Natasha Morrison, who has a season best of 10.87 and Blessing Okagbare, with a best of 10.97, are expected to push her to the limit. Dina Asher Smith and Marie- Jose Ta Lou are competing in the event for the first time this season, just like Fraser-Pryce, but they should all make this very exciting.

Andre Lowe: It’s definitely a class field. It’s always commendable that the women sprinters always embrace the challenge of competing against each other regularly. For me, it’s the class and experience of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce vs the explosive momentum of Sha’Carri Richardson. The American knows what a win here will mean for her reputation while SFP will want to show, at home and abroad, that she’s still the top female sprinter in the world.

Raymond Graham: Considering the form that Richardson is in now, she will not lose and if conditions are right, I expect her to run at least 10.75 seconds or under. I think this being Fraser- Pryce’s first run in the event for this season will not help and she could also end up behind the fast-finishing Okagbare, who I expect to be second, while Fraeer-Pryce and Asher Smith fight for third.

Andre Lowe: Richardson’s personality has rubbed many persons the wrong way but she has so far backed up her blunt attitude with impressive times on the track. It’s hard to bet against SFP, but at this stage, it is equally difficult to go against the form already shown by Richardson.

Raymond Graham: So call it like I have done and don’t jump on the wagon at the end of the race.

Andre Lowe: I am never comfortable agreeing with you but if she can hold her nerve under early pressure from SFP and late pressure from Okagbare, Sha’Carri Richardson will win this one. It’s going to be closer than most think and the forecast don’t seen to suggest we will see a great time with lots of rain and wind expected. Okagbare and SFP to battle for second.