Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins the 100m at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 (© Getty Images)
Twenty four hours ago, it was Usain Bolt who maintained his considerable reputation and on Monday it was the turn of his compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, as she added to her growing legacy as the possibly the greatest female sprinter in history.
Despite facing the fiercest of competition, the diminutive Fraser-Pryce continues to defy her lack of inches to deliver time and time again.
No matter how hard her rivals try, nobody can knock the outgoing Jamaican from her perch as the empress of sprinting.
Just like Bolt, Fraser-Pryce first revealed herself to the world at the Bird’s Nest Stadium seven years ago, striking 100m gold at the 2008 Olympic Games, and she has since largely dominated her event since then.
Tonight was her third world women’s 100m title to add to her successive Olympic 100m titles.
No woman in history can boast of as many global 100m titles.
It was also her sixth World Championship gold medal and she now sits on her own as the woman with the second highest total of golds in the 32-year history of the event, one clear of five-time world champions Gail Devers, Sanya Richards-Ross and Tirunesh Dibaba. US sprinter Allyson Felix is top of the pile on eight gold medals.
Tonight was another supreme example that we are witnessing a very special talent.
The 28-year-old Jamaican, sporting an unusual look of green hair with five yellow sunflowers on the fringe, has an uncanny ability to reach top speed quicker than her rivals out of the blocks, although it has be noted that tonight her reaction time was only the sixth best of the eight finalists.
By 30 metres, the Jamaican ‘Pocket Rocket’ had already established a gap on her rivals with her countrywoman Veronica Campbell-Brown – one of a trio of Jamaicans in the final – prominent with US champion Tori Bowie also in the mix.
Schippers shifts gear in the second 50m
As Fraser-Pryce continued to maintain her advantage, it was actually the long-striding European champion Dafne Schippers who presented the Jamaican’s most demanding challenge over the second half of the race.
Competing in the familiar Dutch orange, Schippers started to make significant inroads on Fraser-Pryce in the final 20 metres and was closing with every stride. However, Fraser-Pryce had too much of an advantage and crossed the line raising one arm skyward in celebration and ecstasy.
The clock stopped at 10.76, 0.06 shy of the championship record, the second fastest time in the world this year and a mark only she has beaten in 2015.
Schippers herself had an outstanding race clocking 10.81 to trim 0.02 off the Dutch record she had set just two hours earlier in the semi-finals.
In the space of one night, Schippers took a huge 0.11 from her Dutch record and must now go into the women’s 200m, an event Fraser-Pryce has decided not to run, with huge confidence.
Another additional statistic is that Schippers became the first athlete from the Netherlands to win a women’s 100m medal at a global championship since the great Fanny Blankers-Koen, the IAAF female athlete of the 20th century, struck gold at the 1948 London Olympic Games.
Behind the leading two, Bowie backed up the prevailing mood that she was a smart medal chance following her outings through the rounds and took the bronze in 10.86.
Campbell-Brown, the world champion in this event eight years ago and competing in her fifth IAAF World Championships, rolled back the years to run an impressive 10.91 while Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye took fifth in 10.98.
The big disappointment was Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who, after running 10.89 in her semi-final earlier, clocked 11.02 for eighth, although it should be noted that nobody has run so fast and brought up the rear a women’s world championships 100m and it will be little compensation that she would have got on the podium at six previous editions.
Steve Landells for the IAAF