Nairobi – Jamaican sprint legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce posted the fastest 100 meters in the world this year as she clocked 10.67 seconds to win in Nairobi on Saturday.
The 35-year-old, who has won eight Olympic medals including silver in Tokyo last summer, was a comfortable winner after 18-year-old Namibian sensation Christine Mboma pulled up suddenly before collapsing to the track.
Fraser-Pryce’s winning time was close to her personal best of 10.60, set in Lausanne in August 2021.
“I have been doing this for 13 years. Even time I run I set new records, it’s incredible,” said Fraser-Pryce, who could only finish second in her season-opening 200-meter race in Kingston in April.
Only four other women have run the 100 meters faster than Fraser-Pryce’s time on Saturday: Americans Marion Jones (10.65) and Carmelita Jeter (10.64), fellow Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.54) and the controversial world record-holding American Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49).
Fraser-Pryce will renew her long rivalry with five-time Olympic gold medalist Thompson-Herah at this year’s world championships, which start in Eugene, Oregon, on July 15.
Earlier, men’s Olympic 100-meter champion Marcell Jacobs withdrew at the last minute from his long-awaited return to the distance with intestinal problems.
The Italian, who was a surprise winner at last year’s Olympics, was due to go head-to-head with silver medalist Fred Kerley for the first time since Tokyo.
Jacobs confirmed on social media he would next be in action as planned on home soil in a 200-meter race in Savona.
Instead, Kerley lost to home runner Ferdinand Omanyala, who powered to victory in 9.85 seconds, also a world-leading time.
American Kerley could only manage 9.92 seconds to finish behind African record holder Omanyala, who clocked his personal best of 9.77 last year.
“I was aiming to run a sub-10 in this competition. Now that have … my African record, I want to add more records to my collection,” said Omanyala.
The United States’ Isaiah Young was third in 10.13.
Canadian Aaron Brown timed his 200 meters to perfection to post a season-opening best 20.05 seconds.
“I wanted to run a sub-20,” he said.
“I am happy with the time I have posted considering this is a high altitude.”
Niger’s Aminatou Seyni was the shock winner of the women’s 200-meter race, in 22.43 seconds, after edging out Shannon Ray on the line.
Kenya’s Olympic and world 3,000-meter steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto showed he still has a lot to do ahead of the world championships as he faded badly to finish fifth in a race won by Abraham Kibiwott.
Poland’s women’s hammer world-record holder Anita Wlodarczyk posted a world-leading 78.06m in her first appearance in Kenya.
“I am very happy that I came to Nairobi for the first time and did really well,” the three-time Olympic champion said.
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