Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, Carmelita Jeter of the United States and Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica race for the line in the Women's 100m Final of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 4 August 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report

London 2012 - Event Report - Women's 100m Final

With a lethal pick up followed by a lightning burst of speed, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce brilliantly defended her title becoming the first woman to do so since Gail Devers last achieved the feat on home USA soil in 1996.

Fraser-Pryce triumphed in a knife edge finish to the historic dash down the stadium's home straight where a record number six competitors bettered the 11 seconds barrier in an Olympic final for the first time, beating the previous best of five at the Barcelona Games 20 years ago.

The Jamaican whirlwind, enjoying a following wind of 1.5m/s on the very fast track, kept a clear head to withstand a desperate challenge from the USA's Carmelita Jeter with fellow Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown also staking a late claim for the gold medal.

Maintaining her momentum, the 25-year-old shrugged off the indifferent form which has troubled her since her 2008 Beijing Olympic success and winning the following year's World Championships crown, holding off Jeter by just 0.03sec in a time of 10.75 with her teammate third in 10.81.

Fraser-Pryce actually rose from the blocks with the same reaction time of 0.153 as her American opponent, last year's World champion, but quickly hitting the front devoured up the straightway to assert her authority over the entire, very talented line up.

"I really don't know what happened," said Fraser-Pryce about the encounter. "For me as a sprinter I thought first of course about getting out of the blocks.

"Then my coach always says I have to get my first strides correct but he always says I don't follow his instructions. And I don't know whether I did it here."

Reflecting on the defence of her title, she added: "It's completely different to Beijing because there I was inexperienced. I was young and I never believed I could win. This time I was a bit nervous but I believed in God and I trusted him to carry me through."

Looking towards the 200m, the two-time gold medallist, insisted: "I came here on a mission and it hasn't been completed yet. Let's see what will happen."

Jeter the world's second fastest ever 100m performer who was making her Olympic debut, tried desperately to get on even terms with the Caribbean sprint ace and on the dip for the line it proved to be a very tight affair. Jeter, recognising the quality of the line up, said: "It was a tough race, I gave it my all. I got a medal at the Olympics. It feels so good. It means a lot to me."

"It was a power filled final. I'm just glad I got to the finish."

With Campbell-Brown, who like Jeter posted a season's best also breathing down Fraser-Pryce's neck, the trio were chased across the finish line by the two other USA contestants Tianna Madison and Allyson Felix who lowered their fastest-ever performances to 10.85 and 10.89.

Trinidad's Kelly-Ann Baptiste last year's World bronze medallist behind Jeter and Campbell-Brown was next to finish in 10.94 with Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast and Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare behind her with times of 11.00 and 11.01.

David Martin for the IAAF