MOSCOW, Russia – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has become the first Caribbean woman to win World sprint double titles, achieving the honour yesterday at the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships here at the Luzhniki Stadium.
The Jamaican sprinter, who on Monday regained her 100-metre crown lost to Carmelita Jeter in 2011, completed the double in 22.17 seconds.
With Fraser-Pryce drawn in lane four with danger woman Allyson Felix behind, the women’s 200-metre final was expected to be very competitive.
Fraser-Pryce, who was well aware that only a fast start and good curve would get the job done, went about her business in similar fashion.
Felix tried to follow the fast starter, but pulled up just before she could straighten, which left Fraser-Pryce without any challenge.
Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast took another silver in 22.32, the same time as Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare. Shaunae Miller of The Bahamas was fourth in 22.74.
Fraser-Pryce, who joined East Germans Silke Gladisch (1987) and Katrin Krabbe (1991) to win the sprint double, had time to ease down across the line in jubilation.
“Last year was an experience for me doing the double in London and it really helped me to be successful here,” she said while adding “and the fact I did so well in the 100 metres, I had a little confidence going in, because I want to blast that first 100 metres like it was nobody’s business.”
However, in the most exciting final of the night, high school boy Javon Francis produced a stunning run that took Jamaica from fifth on the anchor leg to silver behind United States in the men’s 4×400 relay.
The Jamaican team, which included Rusheen McDonald, Edino Steele and Omar Johnson, stopped the clock in a season best 2:59.88 minutes behind United States, anchored by LaShawn Merritt, a world leading 2:58.71.
Trinidad and Tobago with Jehue Gordon on anchor did 3:01.74 for 6th while Russia got the bronze medal with 2:59.90.
Meanwhile, sprint king Usain Bolt, who is chasing a historic three-peat, has promised to let everything out on the track in tonight’s 200 metres final and has the fourth fastest time of 20.12.
Two other Jamaicans – Warren Weir, the Olympic bronze medallist, and Nickel Ashmeade – also advanced to the final with 20.20 and 20.00 respectively.
Curtis Mitchell of the United States with 19.97, personal best, and Britain’s Adam Gemili 19.98, also a career best, were the only two under 20 seconds.
Jamaica’s Jason Livermore (20.46), St Kitts and Nevis’ Antoine Adams (20.47) and Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago (21.14) were the athletes from the region to exit at the semi-finals stage.
In the women’s 100-metre hurdles, sisters Shermaine Williams 13.09 and Danielle Williams 13.11, along with their Jamaican teammate Andrea Bliss 13.20, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Aleesha Barber 13.33, booked places in the semi-finals set for today.
However, Barbadian Kierre Beckles was sixth in heat four with 13.47 seconds to bow out. (CMC)