EUGENE: Jamaica’s Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce made history Sunday as she bagged a fifth world 100m title on Sunday, as Team USA claimed four other crowns on offer in Eugene. Fraser-Pryce, a 35-year-old mother, led from gun to tape in a consummate display of sprinting that belied her age.
The Jamaican, who previously won the blue riband event in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019, won in a championship record of 10.67 seconds. Shericka Jackson took silver in a personal best of 10.73sec, with four-time Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah claiming bronze (10.81). It was the first time a nation had swept the medals in the women’s 100m at the worlds and came just a day after Fred Kerley led a US sweep of the men’s 100m.
“It was definitely something on the cards,” Fraser-Pryce said of the potential sweep. “I’m glad I was the one who finished first in the sweep and I’m glad the other ladies came through and we were able to celebrate the 1-2-3. “It’s special, it’s my fifth world title in the 100m, and doing it at 35, yes I said 35!” In a startling day of results for Team USA on home soil, Ryan Crouser led another American cleansweep, this time in the shot put alongside Joe Kovacs and Josh Awotunde.
There were also 1-2 finishes in the women’s pole vault thanks to Katie Nageotte and Sandi Morris, and the 110m hurdles as Grant Holloway retained his title ahead of teammate Trey Cunningham. Holloway’s victory in the hurdles was marred by the withdrawal through injury of Jamaican Hansle Parchment while Devon Allen was dramatically ruled out after a heart-breaking false start on the same track where he starred as a college athlete. Parchment, who had stunned Holloway to win Olympic gold last year, clipped a hurdle during the warm-up and left clutching his thigh.
Holloway admitted that he had sympathy for Allen’s marginal false start call. “I didn’t think he false started at all,” he said. “But technology says otherwise. It’s one of those things. It’s athletics. Anything can happen in track and field. It is what it is.” Allen meanwhile described his false start as “frustrating”. “You train a whole year for one competition that lasts 13 seconds and that’s that,” Allen said. “It happens and I’ll learn from it – and I’ll make sure I don’t react as fast next time.”
Feeling easy for Warholm
Elsewhere on the track, Norway’s Karsten Warholm qualified smoothly for Tuesday’s 400m hurdles final. The 26-year-old Olympic champion and world record holder has been out injured with a hamstring injury, but he vowed this week he was at 100% and looked comfortable as he coasted through his semi-final in his bid to bag a third consecutive world title.
“It felt easy. I did my thing for the first turn to test my speed,” said Warholm. “It felt good, nothing wrong. To be honest, it’s not that often that I can run 48sec this easy so it’s good.” Joining him in the final will be his principal arch-rivals American Rai Benjamin and Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos, the silver and bronze medalists in Tokyo. Belgium’s Olympic champion Nafi Thiam was in control of the heptathlon after four events, having registered 13.21sec in the 100m hurdles, 1.95sec in the high jump, 15.03m in the shot put and 24.39sec in the 200m.
That left her with 4,071 points, 61 ahead of Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands, while reigning world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Britain sat in sixth on 3,798pts. The gruelling multi-discipline event concludes on Monday with the long jump, javelin throw and 800m. – AFP