EUGENE, Oregon: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sped her way back to the top of the sprint game Sunday, winning her fifth world title at 100 meters by leading a Jamaican sweep and knocking off Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce, mother of a 4-year-old son, Zyon, led all the way and crossed the line in 10.67 seconds. She beat Shericka Jackson by 0.06 seconds while Thompson-Herah finished a surprising third in 10.81.
A night that started with thoughts that Thompson-Herah might knock off Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 34-year-old world record of 10.49 closed instead with Fraser-Pryce setting a world-championships record. Marion Jones set the old mark of 10.70 in 1999.
With her blonde and green-tinted hair waving in the breeze as she jogged through her victory lap, stopping to take pictures with fans that cheered her as loudly as anyone Sunday, Fraser-Pryce was all smiles — a different reaction than last year in Tokyo, when she finished second by a sizable 0.13.
“I went back home and I worked and I worked and I came out here, and I had the success,” a beaming Fraser-Pryce said in her on-track interview.
She’ll add it to titles she won in 2009, ‘13, ‘15 and ‘19. She also won the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.
A night after the US swept the podium in the men’s 100, Fraser-Pryce and Co., showed there’s still plenty of speed down on the island.
Usain Bolt won three world titles at 100 meters over his decade of dominance. Fraser-Pryce now has five over a span that dates to 2009 in Berlin, the worlds at which Bolt set the men’s 100 record of 9.58 that still stands. Fraser-Pryce was 22 then.
In Eugene, she defended her title from 2019, a win that came not long after she had her baby. She called that “a victory for motherhood.”
Zyon is about the same age as Allyson Felix’s daughter, Cammy, and though Fraser-Pryce was never as outspoken as Felix about the challenges facing moms, she told the story of sitting on her bed and crying the day she learned she was pregnant. People suggested her career was over.
Not by a long shot.
Since having Zyon she has won two world titles and lowered her personal best to 10.6 — putting her alongside Thompson-Herah and Flo Jo as the only women to have run so fast.
The Jamaican sweep offered a brief break from what’s turning into quite an American show in the first worlds to be contested in the US.
Minutes before the women’s 100, Grant Holloway and Trey Cunningham finished 1-2 in the 110 hurdles. The race might have been a sweep were it not for a false-start by Oregon receiver-hurdler Devon Allen, who came into the meet ranked second in the world. The red card was met with lusty boos from the crowd and Allen took his time leaving the track, clearly not happy with the call.
Around that time, Ryan Crouser was putting the final touches on America’s 1-2-3 finish in the shot put. It was Crouser’s second straight world title to go with the win at last year’s Olympics. His rival, Joe Kovacs, finished second and teammate Josh Awotunde was third.
“We’re proud of it. We always say we’re the best shot put country in the world, and today we proved it,” Kovacs said.
Also wrapping up at that time was the 1-2 finish by American pole vaulters Katie Nageotte, who adds this to her title in Tokyo last year, and Sandi Morris, who know has three silver medals from worlds.
Earlier in the day, Americans Brooke Andersen and Janee’ Kassanavoid won gold and bronze in the hammer throw. By the end of Day 3, the US had 14 medals — 11 more than the next-best countries; and six golds, which was triple the total for second-place Ethiopia.
One of that country’s golds came from Tamirat Tola in Sunday morning’s marathon; Tola separated himself from the pack late and won in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 36 seconds — a gap of 1:08 over countryman Mosinet Geremew.
In the men’s 10,000, world-record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Kenya defended his world title in 27:27.43. Stanley Mburu took silver after stumbling and falling to the track early in the first lap of the race.
The day’s other champion was Mykolas Alekena of Lithuania in the discus throw.