Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran her seventh sub-10.8 100m time this season, smashing Merlene Ottey’s 25-year-old meet record as she brought the curtain down on her season at the Gala del Castelli Meeting in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a new lifetime best to turn the tables on Elaine Thompson-Herah and win the 100m dash at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce concedes that Elaine Thompson-Herah is much closer to the 100m world record than she is but says that it good that women are now able to challenge the 33-year-old standard set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner.

The Tokyo Olympics 100m silver medalist was speaking at a press conference Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she, Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson will once again line up for the 100m in a field that also includes local talents Mujinga Kamnundji, Ajla del Ponte and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.

Talk of the world record heated up last weekend when Thompson-Herah sped to a world-leading and personal best 10.54 while winning the blue-riband dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. The time is only 0.05s off the world record of 10.49.

Fraser-Pryce, who ran a personal best of 10.63 in June, believes that the world record is now being challenged is a boon for the sport and women’s sprinting.

“As for running the world record, Elaine is much, much closer than I am so it’s good to be able to challenge a record that for women that for a long time we thought was impossible,” she told media gathered for the press conference,” and it speaks to the evolution of sprinting and what mechanics can do to sprinting and the different things that are involved in sprinting, so to be able to be in that conversation or to have that conversation is truly remarkable.”

Fraser-Pryce, who ran 10.73 while finishing second to Thompson-Herah in Eugene, expressed optimism that fast times – maybe even the world record - can be achieved on the track in Lausanne on Thursday.

“I know that Lausanne has a very good track; I ran 10.7 here in 2019 after coming off a plane, so I know it’s a very good track. So, hopefully, tomorrow the ladies will have a superb race and we will see how it goes at the end.”

 

 

 

Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams is aiming for a brand new personal best when she lines up against the world’s fastest women over 100m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

Seventeen-year-old Tina Clayton ran a personal best 11.09 to win the 100m at the 2021 World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya this morning.

Jamaica looks set to qualify a men’s 4x100m relay team for the Tokyo Olympics this summer after running the second-fastest time in the world this year at a time trials meet at GC Foster yesterday.

Baylor University’s Ackera Nugent continued her impressive freshman season on Saturday with a pair of wins at the Aggie Invitational at Bryan-College Station in Texas.

Despite the intense rivalry they shared on the track during the 1990s, two-time Olympic 100m champion Gail Devers said she always admired and respected Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey for her talent and longevity.

The rivals met in a number of major finals that were talked about for years, especially the epic 1993 World Championships 100m finals in Stuttgart, Germany and the Olympic Games in Atlanta, three years later.

Prior to those two years, Devers and Ottey met in the finals of the 100m finals at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 when Devers won her first Olympic 100 title in 10.80s. Ottey was fifth in 10.88 in one of the closest finals in history. 0.08 seconds separated the first five places.

That race marked the beginning of a tense rivalry between Devers and Ottey that would only intensify over the next four years.

In Stuttgart, Devers got off to a flyer and was ahead midway the race but she was being reeled in by a fast-closing Ottey, who with her final strides appeared to have caught the diminutive American as they crossed the line together.

Unsure of who won, the finalists stood around looking up at the scoreboard for what seemed like an eternity. Officials eventually announced that Devers had been awarded the victory even though both she and the Jamaican icon were given the same time of 10.82.

Jamaican protested the result but the decision upheld, handing the American.

By 1996, the 36-year-old Ottey was at her fifth Olympics, Devers her third, and once again they came face to face in the 100m finals and once again, history repeated itself. Devers got off to a great start only to be reeled in by Ottey and sure enough, they crossed the finish line together.

Both were timed in 10.94 but like in Stuttgart, the American was given the nod. The circumstances created tensions between the two countries and their athletes. However, Devers said those tensions were simply about competition.

“You just get caught up in ‘this is competition and you got coaches who say we’re going to protest this,” Devers told Ato Boldon on his Athletics Live show on Instagram last week.

She said she had no idea why things turned out the way they did, why it always seemed to come down to her and Ottey.

“It keeps coming up that it’s these two every time. I don’t know why it was always us but we were always willing to go to the wire,” she said.

Devers explained that in the early days' everyone kind of kept to themselves, leaving little to interact with her rivals.

“When we were competing, it was (Irina) Privalova, it was me, it was Gwen Torrence, it was that four that you could not pick who was going to win on that day,” she said.

“And we can’t duck each other, we gotta go, we gotta run, gotta bring you’re A-plus game because they’re bringing their A-game. So with Merlene, I always knew she was a great athlete and I would always tell her ‘You still running, shoot…”

She said that as time passed, they both got the chance to get to know each other and the tensions cooled.

“While you’re competing everybody is in their own camp, you don’t sit there and socialize anyway, but as we got older, going to awards ceremonies or even with social media, we were able to talk to each other,” she said.

“She knows that I have always admired her because I don’t care at what age, if she steps out there now I am concerned. You might want to be worried because if she is in the lane, she is ready to go.”

Focus on details helped Kemba Nelson run a personal best 100m time and a decent 200m at last weekend’s West Coast Classic in Tucson.

Nelson, a junior at the University of Oregon, clocked 11.18 to win the 100m well clear of teammate Jasmine Reed who stopped the clock at 11:48. California’s Ezzine Abba ran 11.52 for third.

An hour later, Nelson would finish second in the 200m, beaten by UCLA’s Shae Anderson who clocked 22.96 for the win. Nelson ran a creditable 23.03, sandwiched by Anderson’s teammate Makenzy Pierre-Webster, who clocked 23.51.

Nelson expressed her satisfaction afterwards.

“I am happy with races! Big PR for me. Great opener as well,” said the former UTech sprinter, whose previous best was 11.49 in Kingston in June 2019.

“In the 100, I was more focused on execution. Staying patient with the drive phase and not rushing the race.”

She wasn’t too perturbed by her 200m loss seeing that her time was also a personal best.

“Though it was an hour after the 100 it was a good race too. I definitely have a lot to work on. But it’s a part of the sport. You win some, you lose some. Just have to get back to work.”

Nelson is having an outstanding first year on the US Collegiate circuit. In March she was the NCAA 60m Indoor title in a personal best 7.05s, a time that made her the fifth-fastest Jamaican woman indoors behind Merlene Ottey, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Natalliah Whyte was well pleased with her 100m outing at the Miramar South Florida Invitational on Saturday but she is hoping that she will go much faster as the season progresses. Whyte was third in 11.16 behind runaway winner Sha’ Carri Richardson, who ran a jaw-dropping 10.72s, the fastest time in the world this year.

The 23-year-old Jamaican, who ran the lead-off leg for Jamaica’s gold medal-winning 4x100 relay team at the World Championships in Doha in 2019, had run even faster in the preliminary round clocking 11.07s, her season-best.

However, taking the two races together, Whyte said she was happy with the overall performance.

“The first 100 metres of the season after not competing or doing much due to Covid this time last year, and with a time of 11.07 in the heats and 11.16 in the finals, I am satisfied,” she told Sportsmax.TV following her race.

She explained that the races were meant to provide her and her coach with indicators of what her progress is this season.

“It’s really just taking each race at a time and finding out my weak points and working on those so I can put everything together to get that perfect race,” said Whyte, who trains with Puma MVP International at their base at the Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

“I was hoping to go faster in the final run but, as I said, the race wasn’t perfect but there is still room for improvement. It’s the first race of the season and I think everything will come together as I move forward.”

Whyte did not compete indoors during the winter but does not believe it had any impact on her performances outdoors where she has run two 200m races recording times of 22.88 and 23.28 on March 20 and April 4, respectively.

“Not competing indoors doesn’t give you that early push that pushes you into outdoor. So basically, just training doesn’t give you a true benchmark of where you would want to be,” she explained.

“Competing with world-class athletes is what really sets the standard for what to work on and to just see where you are in your progress. So this meet was a great meet. It had a lot of world-class athletes so it was a true test of progress.”

Having run both short sprints so far this season begs the question, does she plan to compete at both at the Olympic this summer should she qualify at her national championships set for June? Whyte said it’s too early to say.

“Both events complement each other so at the moment I am using each event to get better at the other. The 200m really helps with speed endurance but eventually, when it gets closer to that time, my coach and I will decide based on how the season progresses, what will be best,” she said.

“At the moment, I am delighted for the opportunity to compete. I haven’t run the 200 consistently for the past few years so I am just trying to familiarize myself with the event again. So it’s really a learning process as I go along.  I am also trying to stay injury-free, which is my number one goal.”

Commenting on Richardson's phenomenal time, Whyte said: "Richardson's run was spectacular, she’s a very talented athlete."

 

Track and field coach and broadcaster Ato Boldon believes the USA’s Sha’ Carri Richardson is now favoured to break Jamaica’s stranglehold on the Olympic 100m title this summer, following her jaw-dropping 100m run at the Miramar South Florida Invitational on Saturday.

Caribbean athletes Shadae Lawrence and Shane Brathwaite scored victories in the discus and sprint hurdles, respectively at Saturday’s USATF Sprint Summit in Prairie View, Texas, where several of their regional compatriots also had podium finishes.

Following his world-leading 100-metre time set at the Tropical Elite Sprints Meet in Miami on Saturday, Antigua and Barbuda's CejHae Greene said he did not expect to go so fast so early.

He did say, however, that he intends to go a bit faster over the course of the season as the Olympic Games draw nearer.

Also at the meet held at the Tropical Park Stadium, Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield and Natalliah Whyte, Greene’s MVP International training partners, enjoyed impressive wins over 200m.

The 25-year-old Greene was second in his preliminary round heat in 10.27 behind the USA’s World Championship 400m medalist, Fred Kerley, who won in 10.15. However, he managed to turn the tables on his more celebrated American rival in the final, winning in 10.01.

Kerley was second in 10.11, the third-fastest time in the world this year, while Jeremy Bascomb was third in 10.51.

Greene said the time came as a bit of a shock.

“I was surprised to see 10.01 show up on the clock but coach been saying I am in good shape, I have been training well so once I executed a good race I should run fairly fast, but in my head, fairly fast meant 10.1/10.2, so it just shows that if you listen to your coach and do what you have been doing in practice you should be fine,” said Greene, who ran with a trailing wind of 1.2m/s.

He revealed that having Fred Kerley in the race also played its part in his fast season-opener that bumped China’s Bingtian Su’s 10.05 that was run earlier Saturday, from the top spot.

“Fred’s presence made me have to focus a little bit more because we all know Fred is fast so it kind of forced me to compete at a higher level,” Greene said.

“Fred’s presence really changed the game because I knew I had to execute a really good race because Fred is fast and he is strong, he is one of the best 400m athletes in the world so I know I had to execute the start very well to win the race.”

Realistically, it should not have been that much of a surprise for the 2016 Olympian given how well he says he has been training at MVP International’s base camp in Florida. He said the competitive nature of training has helped him bring out his best.

“My training group definitely helped me push a little harder this year. Being alongside Akeem Bloomfield, Nathon Allen and Teray Smith each day at practice, it gets really competitive and we push each other and we go at it. Every day is like a race so I think that really helped me to push myself to be in a lot better shape this early,” he said while revealing that he intends to dip below 10 seconds in time for the Olympic Games this summer.

“The goal is to go sub-10 and once we keep healthy and keep listening to the coach and keep executing races, getting race sharp, that should happen. So my goal is to keep improving each week in practice, stay healthy and go on to the Olympics and do great things.”

He said he is likely to race next in Clermont on April 4, where he could be running the 200m.

“I want to improve my 200 times. I know once I can improve over the 200m it should translate pretty good into the 100 so I’ll probably give it a shot down there.”

Bloomfield was also impressive at the meet seemingly exerting relatively little effort in winning the 200m in 20.75 over Teray Smith (20.90) and Zaza Wellington (21.05), respectively.

In the women’s event, Whyte, a sprint relay gold medalist at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, was the fastest Jamaican in the world with her winning time of 22.88.

In the time trial, Angela Tenorio was second-best in 23.06 while Ashley Kelly was third in 24.18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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