Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce held nothing back in producing a stunning performance to snatch a second women’s world 100m title on Monday.
The diminutive double Olympic gold medallist and 2009 world champion showed all her big-day experience by making up for a sluggish start with a dynamic drive section that saw her race clear of the field by 30 metres.
“I had my obstacles – I was starting to feel pain under my left butt cheek,” said Fraser-Pryce, whose victory is a massive boost for a Jamaican team hit by doping bans to sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell.
“I am surrounded by great people. I came here and did my best and actually won. It was really hurting but I knew what I worked for.
“I just came out here and I executed my race. I wasn’t focused on anyone else. It was all about execution.”
There was a first-ever African medal in the world sprints for Ivorian silver medallist Murielle Ahoure (10.93), while defending champion Carmelita Jeter of the United States took bronze (10.94).
Jeter just beat out teammate English Gardner (10.97), with Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart fifth in a photo finish, the seven-time medallist in worlds and Olympics including a 4x100m relay gold in Berlin in 2009 unable to recover from an awful start.
Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, fresh from silver in Sunday’s long jump, faded badly and finished sixth (11.04) ahead of American duo Alexandria Anderson and Octavious Freeman.
With Veronica Campbell-Brown ruled out of the championships because of a doping infringement, Fraser-Pryce had been left as the country’s main contender for gold in the blue riband event.
And the 26-year-old, who served a six-month doping ban herself for testing positive for a narcotic contained, she claimed, in her coach Stephen Francis’ toothache painkillers, did not disappoint.
Her winning time of 10.71sec was just one-hundredth off her best, which ranks as the fourth fastest time ever run, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Jeter and Marion Jones the only three sprinters to have gone faster.
Bronze for Jeter, 33, was bittersweet, as her medalling tied her with Jamaican sprint legend Merlene Ottey’s record of being a four-time world 100m medallist.
Meanwhile, German tyro Raphael Holzdeppe has rained on Renaud Lavillenie’s pole vault parade claiming a shock gold ahead of the favoured Frenchman.
The 23-year-old German, a bronze medallist at last year’s London Olympics where Lavillenie won gold, kept his nerve as Lavillenie had three attempts at 5.96 metres that would have ensured his continuation in the event.
With each failed bid, the crowd gasped, and on the third, Holzdeppe ripped off his singlet and headed to the crowd to search out his coach and family, the Frenchman left stricken on the mat.
Holzdeppe was credited with victory on 5.89m on countback from Lavillenie. Another German, Olympic silver medallist Bjorn Otto, took bronze (5.82m).
“Holzdeppe had a great competition, but I am not at my level. I wasn’t far off at 5.96m,” said Lavillenie, who has produced the best six marks in the world this season, topped by his recent national outdoor record of 6.02m set in London, his last competition before heading to the worlds.
“The title I had to win I got last year (in London) and no one will take that away from me.”
The bronze medal for the 35-year-old Otto ensured him a place in the record books as the oldest pole vault medallist in the history of the worlds, surpassing Ukrainian legend Sergey Bubka, who took gold in 1997 at the age of 33.
Results from the IAAF world championships women’s 100m final:
1. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) 10.71
2. Murielle Ahoure (Ivory Coast) 10.93
3. Carmelita Jeter (U.S.) 10.94
4. English Gardner (U.S.) 10.97
5. Kerron Stewart (Jamaica) 10.97
6. Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria) 11.04
7. Alexandria Anderson (U.S.) 11.10
8. Octavious Freeman (U.S.) 11.16