Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins her fifth world 100m title in Oregon (© Getty Images)
It might be a familiar sight – witnessing Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce flowing towards the finish line on her way to yet another global gold – but the awe it inspires doesn’t diminish.
In front of a packed passionate Hayward Field crowd on day three of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, the Jamaican sprint star secured a record-extending fifth world 100m title, leading a Jamaican sweep of the medals in a championship record of 10.67 (0.8m/s).
It's almost 14 years since her first global title – 100m gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics – but Fraser-Pryce continues to make history. With her run in Oregon on Sunday (17), the 35-year-old becomes the first athlete to win five world titles in a single individual running event, leading the first ever sweep of the medals in this discipline at the World Championships.
Behind her, Shericka Jackson continued to demonstrate her impressive versatility, running a PB of 10.73 to add world 100m silver to the two 400m bronze medals she won in 2015 and 2019, while five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah claimed her first world 100m medal with a 10.81 run.
In the deepest ever women’s World Championships 100m final, seven of the eight finalists dipped under 11 seconds, with best ever marks for fourth, sixth and seventh. In fourth was Britain’s reigning world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, who equalled her British record of 10.83. Switzerland’s world indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji finished fifth in 10.91, while USA’s Aleia Hobbs was sixth in 10.92, Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou seventh in 10.93 and USA’s Melissa Jefferson eighth in 11.03.
"I can't even imagine the amount of times I've had setbacks and I've bounced back and I'm here again," said Fraser-Pryce. "I continue to remind myself that sometimes it's not because you don't have the ability, but it's the right time. Today was the right time."
Fraser-Pryce sits third on the world 100m all-time list with the 10.60 she ran in Lausanne last August, putting her behind only USA’s Florence Griffith-Joyner with her 10.49 world record from 1988 and Thompson-Herah with her 10.54 at Hayward Field almost a year ago. On Sunday evening it was all about the win, though the fierce competition meant it took a championship record to achieve it.
Showing superb consistency, it is Fraser-Pryce’s third 10.67 of the season, each mark having been achieved in a different continent.
She is now a 20-time global medallist – with 13 of those being gold – and she has the chance to add even more to that tally in Oregon as she is also entered for the 200m and 4x100m.
The first of Fraser-Pryce’s world 100m title wins came in Berlin in 2009, when she ran 10.73 as the Olympic champion to lead a Jamaican top two ahead of Kerron Stewart. She then claimed a sprint double in Moscow in 2013, regaining her 100m title and winning her first global 200m gold. She retained her world 100m title in Beijing two years later and returned to World Championships action in Doha in 2019 as a mother – her son Zyon arrived in 2017, with Fraser-Pryce having gone into labour while watching the world 100m final that year. In Doha she won 100m gold for the fourth time and again formed part of the victorious Jamaican 4x100m team to claim her fourth world relay win.
Added to this, Fraser-Pryce secured world 4x100m silver medals in 2007 and 2011 and then of course there are her three Olympic titles, four Olympic silver medals and one Olympic bronze.
The first to achieve five world titles in a single individual running event, only three other athletes in World Championships history – Sergey Bubka (pole vault), Pawel Fajdek (hammer) and Lars Riedel (discus) – have also won the same single disciple five or more times.
"I feel blessed to have this talent and to continue to do it at 35, (after) having a baby, still going, and hopefully inspiring women that they can make their own journey," added Fraser-Pryce.
Now she will prepare for the 200m, for which the heats take place on Monday. Jackson, Thompson-Herah, Asher-Smith, Kambundji and Ta Lou will be among those joining her.
“I'm just grateful. Last year when I switched to the 100m I was scared, but I took my time and here I am today," said Jackson, who improved her 200m PB to 21.55 – the third-fastest ever time behind Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34 world record and Thompson-Herah’s 21.53 from Tokyo last year – when winning the Jamaican title. "Feeling good to be part of history and coming for more."
After her four individual Olympic gold medal wins, Thompson-Herah remains on the hunt for her first individual world title.
"I'm happy to get my first 100m medal and be on the podium for the first time," she said. "I've been working really hard, even though I had some struggles during the season."
The Jamaican trio had led the way in the semifinals, Thompson-Herah winning her race in 10.82 and Jackson taking hers in 10.84, while Fraser-Pryce eased to a 10.93 win in the third semifinal.
Asher-Smith went quickest in the heats the day before, running 10.84 for the second-fastest 100m heat time in World Championships history, just 0.01 off her own British record achieved when claiming silver in Doha. Fraser-Pryce won her heat in 10.87. The Oceania record also fell, New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs advancing to the semifinals with 11.08.
Jess Whittington for World Athletics
|WOMEN'S 100m MEDALLISTS|
|🥇||Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 🇯🇲 JAM||10.67 CR|
|🥈||Shericka Jackson 🇯🇲 JAM||10.73 PB|
|🥉||Elaine Thompson-Herah 🇯🇲 JAM||10.81|