Fraser-Pryce wins 100m world title at 35 as Asher-Smith misses medal

The Jamaican queen of the track has regained her crown. And, even at the age of 35, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continues to find new ways to break records and defy the laws of sporting gravity.

The gold here in Eugene was delivered in the classic Fraser-Pryce style. She blasted the blocks, picked up much faster than her rivals and put the race to bed well before crossing the line at 10.67 – far ahead of compatriots Shericka Jackson, who took silver at 10.73, and Tokyo Olympic champion Elaine Thompson. -Herah, who won bronze in 10.81.

Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith ran flat out and equaled her national record of 10.83, but it was only enough for fourth place. “It sucks,” she admitted. “I was so close.”

But tonight was about Fraser-Pryce who – incredibly – won his first Olympic 100m title as early as 2008, a day after Usain Bolt crashed into the sporting stratosphere.

Since then, she has won world titles in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2019 and now 2022. After the birth of her son Zyon in 2017 by cesarean section, she feared she would never regain her core strength, let alone regain her best. level. . Instead, with each passing year, his legend has only grown.

“I hope this shows that age doesn’t matter,” she said afterwards. “You can be in your 20s, you can be in your 30s, and you can still achieve great things. You just have to compete and trust yourself and your instincts and instincts.

“I feel blessed to have this talent and to continue to do so at 35, to have a baby, still on the way, and hopefully to inspire women to take their own journey.”

Who would now dare to doubt that she is the greatest sprinter of all? Not when that victory made her the first athlete to win five world titles in an individual running event – as well as the longest-serving world track champion, surpassing Justin Gatlin.

And the most incredible statistic of all? Fraser-Pryce has never run faster in a 100m final in her seven world victories than she did on Sunday night. At 35 years old.

Beynon’s lightning-fast track at Hayward Field is certainly a major factor in this stunning achievement. So did the new range of super spikes introduced in 2019, which top sprint coach Lance Baumann says are worth around 0.07-0.10s over 100m. In recent years, his technique has improved even further.

However, when asked about the secret to her success, Fraser-Pryce opted for a simpler explanation. “I’m a competitor,” she replied. “I love competition.”

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, third from left, crosses the line.
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, third from left, crosses the line. Photography: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile/Getty Images

As she celebrated, Asher-Smith looked down in hallway eight and wondered what might have been. She was close to Fraser-Pryce for the first 30 meters of the race and held onto second place until 25 meters from the finish when Jackson passed her.

Even so, bronze was still on the cards before the final strides. But then she was caught off guard by Thompson-Herah in lane four, who stormed home to beat her by 0.02.

“I didn’t see anything from lane eight,” Asher-Smith said afterwards. “It’s both positive and negative. You run without tension effect, but also you don’t see anyone on your shoulder. It was a good run from me. A very good race. Unfortunately it was fourth, but the caliber of the final was incredible.

It’s true. Fellow British sprinter Daryll Neita ran 10.96 in her semi-final and still missed the final.

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When Asher-Smith was asked if Fraser-Pryce was the best, she nodded. “Probably,” she said. “It was phenomenal. 10.67 is a fantastic time, and in a championship it’s unbelievable. It’s one thing to do in a one-off that’s great. To do it on the back of two other races is amazing.

The bad news for Fraser-Pryce’s rivals is that she has no intention of calming down. On the contrary, it plans to accelerate.

“I’m always hungry to do more,” she explained, her words laced with ominous intent. “Because I believe there is more to do. I truly believe I can run faster. And I’m not going to stop until I do.

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