Monday 19 March 2018

Sprint queen Fraser-Pryce reigns again to take fourth world crown

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after winning gold in the Women's 100 metres final
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after winning gold in the Women's 100 metres final

Cathal Dennehy

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce proved herself as the undisputed sprint queen when scorching to victory over 100m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last night in 10.76 seconds.

For Fraser-Pryce, her fourth world title brought back memories of her breakout race in the same stadium seven years ago, when she destroyed the field to win the Olympic 100m title.

"When I ran tonight, I remembered back at the 2008 Olympic Games. I came out here as a 21-year-old and no one expected anything. This time I came out again with a gold medal and I'm really excited about that.

Fraser-Pryce quickly shot down suggestions of a sprint double later in the week. "No, I'm not considering the 200m," she said. "The plan has always been to only run the 100m."

Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands vindicated her decision to abandon the heptathlon to focus on sprinting this year by taking second in a national record of 10.81. "Wow, I'm second in the world," said the 23-year-old from Utrecht. "It is good for my country and it's good for Europe."


In the long-distance races, a pair of Kenyans proved that age is no barrier to success. Vivian Cheruiyot, returned to the top of the world after missing last season through pregnancy, and the 32-year-old showed her younger rivals a clean pair of heels over the final 200m to take the 10,000m title in 31:41.31 ahead of Ethiopia's Gelete Burka.

"I told myself I want to win, no matter how hard it is," said Cheruiyot. "It is even more precious now after I became a mother. I dedicate this medal to my son."

There was heartbreak for American Molly Huddle, who eased up in the shadow of the finish line, gifting the bronze medal to her team-mate Emily Infeld. "I blew it in the last steps," said Huddle. "I don't know when that chance will come again. This will take some time to get over."

In the men's 3,000m steeplechase, Ezekiel Kemboi once again put his ferocious kick to good use and took his fourth world title in 8:11.28, leading home a Kenyan sweep of the medals.

"On the last lap nobody could follow me," said Kemboi. "I will be celebrating tonight with my team-mates."

There was a surprise winner in the men's pole vault, with Canada's Shawn Barber upsetting France's Renaud Lavillenie to take gold with a best clearance of 5.90m.

World Championships, Live, BBC 2 11.0/Eurosport 11.30

Irish Independent

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