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World Athletics Championships: Jamaicans sprint to glory

Sprint queen Fraser-Pryce takes home fifth World gold
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (centre) crosses the line to win the women’s 100 metres final at the Hayward Field in Eugene on Sunday.
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (centre) crosses the line to win the women’s 100 metres final at the Hayward Field in Eugene on Sunday.

Our Bureau   |   Eugene   |   Published 19.07.22, 03:21 AM

Shelly-Ann FraserPryce led a Jamaican sweep in the women’s 100m final at the World Championships while American athletes continued to clean up on home soil by clinching four gold medals on Sunday.

Fraser-Pryce claimed her fifth world title after clocking 10.67 to edge Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah, the same three athletes who swept the Olympic podium in Tokyo. “I can’t even imagine the amount of times I’ve had setbacks and I’ve bounced back and I’m here again,” FraserPryce said.


“I feel blessed to have this talent and to continue to do it at 35, having a baby, still going, and hopefully inspiring women that they can make their own journey.” It was no huge surprise that the aftermath in the corridors of the stadium felt like a bit of a party.

Fraser-Pryce is still a fan favourite back in Jamaica — and worldwide. Dozens of ticket holders wearing “Shelly-Ann’’ T-shirts — complete with a picture of her, back in the day, when she still wore braces — were making their way to the exits, a few of them high-fiving.

One of them, Errol Byles, a former elite sprinter in Jamaica, told of meeting FraserPryce on an airplane. They exchanged numbers and stayed in touch. Before worlds, he asked her to send some shirts, and they were worn with pride.

Byles reminisced about the vibe in Jamaica when the 21-year-old then known as Shelly-Ann Fraser qualified for her first Olympics, back in 2008. She was too young, the skeptics said, and had no business taking the spot that could’ve gone to the reigning world champion at the time, Veronica Campbell Brown. Fraser did take that spot, and then she led a Jamaican sweep in the 100.

It felt like a bit of an undercard to Bolt’s hotdogging, world-record-setting victory the night before. Still, a star was born. Oregon native Ryan Crouser, a double Olympic champion and world record holder, led a US clean sweep in the men’s shot put and finally got his elusive world gold after his throw of 22.94m set a championship record.

Defending champion Joe Kovacs took silver with Josh Awotunde capturing bronze. Olympic champion Katie Nageotte cleared 4.85m to win the women’s pole vault with compatriot Sandi Morris taking a third consecutive silver.

It was a third straight gold in the field events for US women after Brooke Andersen’s triumph in the hammer throw earlier in the day and Chase Ealey’s shot put success on Saturday. American Grant Holloway retained his 110m hurdles title in a chaotic final that saw Jamaica’s Olympic champion Hansle Parchment injured in the warmup and Devon Allen disqualified for a false start.

Allen, who produced the third-fastest time in the event in June and was one of the favourites in Eugene, moved 0.01 seconds too soon. Hammer thrower Andersen threw 77.56m to win gold and compatriot Janee Kassanavoid took bronze.

Camryn Rogers finished second to win Canada’s first world hammer medal. Uganda’s world record holder Joshua Cheptegei held off all challengers on the final lap to retain his 10,000m crown in 27:27.43. Kenyan Stanley Mburu claimed silver and Cheptegei’s compatriot Jacob Kiplimo the bronze.

Tamirat Tola won the men’s marathon, finishing more than a minute clear in a world championships record time of two hours, 05.37 minutes and leading a 1-2 finish for Ethiopia. Mosinet Geremew took silver and Bashir Abdi the bronze.

Tola floored the lead pack with a decisive break at 32km and a final 10km split of 28:31 on the last of three loops through Eugene and Springfield. The 30-year-old, who took silver in the event behind Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui in London in 2017, was rewarded with a winning time of 2:05:36 – a major improvement on the Championship record figures of 2:06:54 held by another Kenyan Kirui, Abel, in Berlin in 2009.

In utilising his track pedigree to telling effect, Tola, the 2016 Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist, earned his country’s second gold in two days, following Letesenbet Gidey’s thrilling sprint to victory in the women’s 10,000m final on Saturday.

Impressive streak

There was a brilliant performance by the Mongolian marathon man who has been a fixture of the event at the World Athletics Championships since 2003. At the age of 40, Ser-od Bat-Ochir ran like a Bat-Ochir out of hell to take 26th place in 2:11:39. Running in his 75th marathon overall, and his 10th in a row at the World Athletics Championships, the veteran achieved his second highest-ever finish in a global event — behind his 19th place in Daegu in 2011. In Budapest next year the remarkable Bat-Ochir stands to match Portuguese race walker Joao Viera’s tally of 11 successive World Athletics Championships appearances. 

Written with inputs from Reuters

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