Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Picture: ROGER SEDRES/GALLO IMAGES
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Picture: ROGER SEDRES/GALLO IMAGES

Kingston — Jamaican sprint darling Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the second-fastest woman of all time behind 100m world record holder the late Florence Griffith-Joyner when she clocked 10.63 sec at a meet in Kingston at the weekend.

Double Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce, who laid down a marker ahead of July’s Tokyo Olympics with her searing sprint, said her speed had taken her by surprise. “Honestly no … I never expected I would run 10.6 and think it’s a good thing because there was no pressure,” Fraser-Pryce told reporters.

“I just wanted to get one run in before the [June 24-27] national championships and that’s what I was really looking forward to.”

American Griffith-Joyner, who died in 1998, still holds the women’s 100m world record of 10.49 sec, set in Indianapolis in 1988, as well as the three fastest times ever, with 10.61 and 10.62, also in 1988.

But Fraser-Pryce shaved 0.01 sec off Carmelita Jeter’s 10.64 set in 2009 to climb behind Griffith-Joyner on the all-time list.

Running in an empty stadium in Kingston at the JOA/JAAA’s Destiny Series, she decimated the field in the first of three heats from a rocket start, to finish ahead of former world championship finalist Natasha Morrison.

Fraser-Pryce, the reigning world champion after winning gold in Doha in 2019, said she had already set her sights on her next target. “I’m lost for words because 10.6 has been a dream, a goal, I’ve been working so hard, being so patient to see it finally unfold. I’m so ecstatic,” added the 34-year-old, who set her previous personal best of 10.70 sec nine years ago.

“If I’m able to run 10.6 now … I’m just looking forward to what the process will bring. I’m continuing the work because I did say that this year I wanted nothing more than to break the 10.7 barrier and I did it.

“But now the focus is on making the national team then taking it from there. This is just one part of the puzzle, so you can’t get too complacent and comfortable.”

American Trayvon Bromell underlined his credentials as the Tokyo Olympics 100m gold medal favourite on Saturday by running the fastest time in 2021 of 9.77 sec at the New Life Invitational in Miramar, Florida.

Bromell becomes the ninth man to dip under 9.80 sec, slashing nearly one-10th of a second off his personal best of 9.84. Marvin Bracey of the US was second in 9.85 followed by Chris Royster in 10.08.

Reigning Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100m and 200m events, clocking 10.87 and 22.54 sec, respectively. 

Reuters

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