By Mitch Phillips
EUGENE, Ore. (Reuters) – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce claimed an astonishing fifth world 100 metres title at the age of 35 on Sunday when she clocked 10.67 seconds to edge Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah in a brilliant Jamaican clean sweep.
Fraser-Pryce got her usual superb start and held her form as fast-finishing Jackson clocked a personal best 10.73 for silver and Thompson-Herah took bronze with 10.81.
No nation had completed a medal sweep in the women’s 100m at the worlds, though Jamaica did it at last year’s Olympics via the same three athletes – and also in 2008.
The United States did the same in the men’s event on Saturday, the first since 1991.
Fraser-Pryce now has five 100m world titles and two Olympic 100m golds and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down as Sunday’s mark was the fastest winning time of all those seven global victories.
“It’s my favourite world title – doing it at 35, yes I said 35,” Fraser-Pryce said.
“Whenever I’m healthy I’m going to compete. I’m hungry, I’m driven and I always believe I can run faster and I’m not going to stop until I stop believing that.”
She hoped that she could be an inspiration to other women.
“It’s not easy, I don’t just turn up – I have to work,” she said. “I can’t even imagine the amount of times I’ve had setbacks and I’ve bounced back and I’m here again.
“To continue to do it at 35, having a baby, still going, hopefully I’m inspiring women that they can make their own journey.”
‘PART OF HISTORY’
Jackson said she was surprised to learn she is now the third-fastest Jamaican of all time.
“Last year when I switched to the 100 metres, I was scared but I took my time and here I am today and I feel good to be part of history with the sweep.”
Thompson-Herah, who has won back to back Olympic sprint doubles and is second-fastest on the all-time list behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner, is still without an individual world title, adding Sunday’s bronze to a 200m silver in 2015.
“I’m not in the best shape of my life, I’ve had shoulder and Achilles injuries that have knocked me about a bit so I’m pleased to have overcome that,” she said.
“I’m a fighter, I’m always positive and my world championship journey does not stop here.”
Dina Asher-Smith, silver medallist in 2019, was fasted out of the blocks in lane eight but though she matched her British record of 10.83 she came up just short.
“You had to run a 10.9 low to make the final, which is crazy,” she said.
Her team mate Daryll Neita ran the fastest time ever by someone not making the final (10.97) in the semis.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Peter Rutherford)