BEIJING, China – Double Olympics 100m champion and 2013 Moscow World Champs sprint double girl, Jamaica’s queen on the track, hair beauty specialist and Deli owner, Shellyann Fraser-Pryce, has done it again.
Caribbean interests all over came to the Bird’s Nest Stadium or tuned in to the coverage hoping, praying that at the end of proceedings, this would be dubbed “Shellyann Fraser-Pryce Day.” That so, to replicate the still lingering pleasant taste and feel of how sprinting king Usain Bolt countered with courage, character and class, all that was in his path to further legendary status on Sunday.
Well, here it is. The 28 year old multiple champion – Berlin 2009 WC, her first in these championships and coach Michael Carr-prepared out of Wolmer’s Girls School, bred in the Varma Lands section of the Waterhouse community, Shellyann made it all count for her mother and chief supporter, Maxine, her family, her school, her community and Jamaica. It was the first woman to take three titles in this event at this level.
Today Monday, in Beijing is indeed “Shellyann Fraser-Pryce Day.” To borrow the words of a woman who is close to be, if not already, Jamaica’s finest female sporting ambassador, “the chips have fallen where they may.” 2015 female 100m world champion, “Meet Mrs. Shellyann Fraser-Pryce.”
Fraser-Pryce’s time 10.76 to beat Dafne Schippers (NED) in a national record 10.81 and Tori Bowie (USA) 10.86.
"I am happy and I am proud to defend my title," said Fraser-Pryce.
"When I ran the heats, I remembered when back in 2008 at the Olympic Games I was just 21 years old. I expected nothing then. And I cane out here again tonight with a gold medal. Every championships is diffeent. I am really excited," she added.
Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown 10.91 and Natasha Morrison 11.02 were fourth and 7th respectively.
Trinidad & Tobago’s pair of Michelle-Lee Ahye 10.98 and Kelly-Ann Baptiste 11.01 were 5th and 6th respectively.
At the semifinal stage, almost 2 hours earlier, Fraser-Pryce, in superb form, predictably led the field, while taking heat 1 in 10.82 – controlled as could be, Next in line for our girls, was the 2007 Osaka champion the resilient, Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown, a season best 10.89 doing the job – 2nd in heat 3.Second in heat 2, T&T’s Kelly Ann Baptiste at 10.90 is also in as an automatic qualifier along with her teammate, Michelle Lee Ahye (TTO), 3rd in heat 3 – provisionally qualified – in a season best 10.97. The undoubted toast for Jamaica was served up by the newcomer to this elite level, Natasha Morrison whose first sub 11 clocking at 10.96 made sure she could pack for last eight experience with her 10.96 – You go girl.
Neither Jamaica’s 2008 Olympic silver medallist, Sherone Simpson, 4th in heat 1 with 11.06 nor Trini miss, Semoy Hackett made it through, the latter despite a season best of 11.13 for 5th in the first heat.
From the semifinal round in the 400mh for women, Jamaican girls led the charge into the finals. Many time global fourth placer and Commonwealth Champion, Kaliese Spencer, coming to Beijing, having not raced since her 54.15 then world lead at the Oslo DL in June, cruised into the final with her 54.45 to take 2nd in heat 2. So did and quite satisfyingly so, for all her fans, former World Junior Champion, Janeive Russell with a 2nd place in heat 3, recording a season best, 54.78. Spencer and Russell stood at 4th and 6th respectively in the rankings of those advancing with the Czech defending champion, Zuzana Hejnova at 54.24.
Olympic Champion, T&T’s Keshorn Walcott did not address his 90.16m personal best and Area Record at the Lausanne DL in July, when he could only manage 76.83m to place a hopeless 13th in Group A in the Javelin qualifying round.
Caribbean casualties abounded in the men’s 400m semi final action. Making it to the final eight, were Grenada’s Olympic and 2011 Daegu WC Champion, Kirani James, 44.16 for the heat 1 win and the sensational Trinidad & Tobago, 19 year old, Machel Cedenio, 3rd in heat 3 in 44.44 for a provisional qualifying spot.
Failing to advance were, Lalonde Gordon (TTO), 4th in heat 2, 44.70, Javon Francis (JAM), 4th in heat 3, 44.77, the 43.93 man from the first round, Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald, 6th in heat 2, 44.86, The young Bahamian, Steven Gardiner, another 19 year old, 7th in heat 2, 44.98, Renny Quow (TTO), 5th in heat 1, 44.98, veteran, nine time WC man, 36 years on his clock,Chris Brown (BAH), 7th in heat 1, 45.07, Peter Matthews (JAM), 8th in heat 1, 45.42 and the third Bahamaland man, the London Olympics 4x400m gold medallist, Michael Mathieu, 7th in heat 3, 45.43.