Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran the second-quickest 100m time by a woman to remind Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith she remains the one to beat at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 34-year-old clocked a stunning 10.63sec in Kingston, Jamaica, to become the fastest female sprinter alive, replacing the American Carmelita Jeter, who ran 10.64 in 2009.
Fraser-Pryce’s time will also reignite the debate over the new wave of spike technology. One prominent coach recently said Nike’s latest sprint shoe is worth at least a tenth of a second over 100m compared with its previous model.
Jeter congratulated Fraser-Pryce on her performance via Twitter. “I just woke to some amazing news. Shelly-Ann has done it again. I give credit when it’s due. You have come back from having a child and showed the world how talented and driven you are. You are officially the fastest woman alive. Keep motivating these young queens.” Only Florence Griffith Joyner, who ran 10.49 in 1988 but died a decade later, has gone faster.
Fraser-Pryce, who won 100m gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and at the 2019 world championships, was well beaten by Asher-Smith a fortnight ago on a cold, wet night in Gateshead. But she found racing in perfect conditions at the JAAA/JOA Olympic Destiny meet at the National Stadium much more to her liking.
She blasted out the blocks and was well clear by halfway before coming home to beat her own national record of 10.70, which she shared with Elaine Thompson Herah.
Going into the race, the Olympic favourite appeared to be the 21-year-old American Sha’Carri Richardson, who had clocked 10.72 in the spring. Thompson Herah ranks third in the world this year having run 10.78.
Asher-Smith ran 11.35 in Gateshead but it was into a -3.1m/s headwind and driving rain. The 25-year-old Briton also insists she is now in far better shape than when finishing second at the 2019 world championships behind Fraser-Pryce.