May 20, 2013
Athletics: Fraser-Pryce is sprint queen once again
Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce proved to be the sprint queen of the track once again when she retained her Olympic 100 metres title today.
Fraser-Pryce, securing what could be the first leg of a Jamaican double with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake vying for men's 100 gold tomorrow, clocked 10.75 seconds to cap a frantic night of action in a packed Olympic stadium.
American Carmelita Jeter grabbed silver in 10.78 and Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica claimed bronze in 10.81.
"The track is fast. I am excited. Two years I've had up and down," said 25-year-old Fraser-Pryce, who tested positive in 2010 for banned substance oxycodone after using medication for toothache and was subsequently suspended for six months.
"It will feel really good to be standing on the podium. In Beijing I was young. This year I was a bit nervous because I was a favourite."
American Gail Devers was the last to retain the 100 title when following up Barcelona triumph with victory in Atlanta in 1996. American Wyomia Tyus also won back-to-back golds in 1964 and 1968.
Fraser-Pryce's winning time was three-hundredths of a second quicker than she clocked in the Beijing final. It was also the second fastest time in an Olympic 100 final with only Florence Griffith-Joyner going quicker when she clocked 10.54 in 1988 in Seoul.
Jamaica upstaged the United States completely by sealing a clean sweep of the podium in 2008 but Jeter, the 2011 world champion and second fastest woman of all time, restored American pride by pushing Fraser-Pryce all the way.
The Jamaican, her hair tied back by a yellow ribbon, made a flying start and always had the powerful Jeter in check as she lunged for the line.
In something of an anti-climax after a night of British triumph in the stadium, her victory was met by muted cheers in comparison to the cacophony of sound that greeted gold medals for Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and, noisiest of all, 10,000 metres champion Mo Farah.
Fraser-Pryce did prove a showstopper back home in Kingston where play in the West Indies v New Zealand cricket test was stopped while the final was shown on a big screen. Spectators at Sabina Park raucously celebrated her triumph.
Fraser-Pryce was little known when she stormed to gold in 2008, but followed up a year later by winning the world title in Berlin.