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Athletics

Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce wins fourth 100 metres world title

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran the season's best time to win the gold medal in the 100 metres.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran the season's best time to win the gold medal in the 100 metres. AFP/Jewel Samad

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce claimed her fourth world championship 100 metres gold on Sunday night with a trademark burst of pace to destroy the field at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

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The Jamaican – nicknamed the pocket rocket due to her petite stature and compressed running style - won the sprint in a season’s best 10.71 seconds.

Dina Asher-Smith from Britain took silver in a national record time of 10.83 while Marie-Josée Ta Lou collected bronze.

It was a triumphant return for the veteran who missed the 2017 championships to have a baby.

Comeback

The 32-year-old danced joyously with her son, Zyon, by the side of the track.

“It’s such a wonderful feeling to celebrate with my son,” she beamed. “You know he’s responsible for the “mummy rocket” and he’s responsible for the comeback. It was a special moment for me to share with my son.”

Fraser-Pryce won her first world championship gold in Berlin in 2009, the same year her compatriot Usain Bolt claimed his first world title in the 100 metres.

Other world crowns followed in Moscow in 2013 and Beijing in 2015.

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“My fourth … I’m 32. I’m a mum. I’m breaking barriers and inspiring women who continue to dream and continue to believe that anything is possible if you believe.

“Coming back after having a baby is possible. Running fast after 30 is possible. So here I am.”

Fraser-Pryce ultimately had too much power for Asher-Smith who was appearing at her first world championships.

“I’m really happy to get the silver in my first appearance,” said the 23-year-old. “But obviously I’m a competitor and I would have loved to have got the gold but Shelly-Ann put together a beautiful race. I was really happy to have come away with a national record and a personal best.”

Record

Jamaica was also in the medals in the new 4x400 metres mixed relay. Their quartet finished second behind the United States who set a world record less than 24 hours after breaking the old one.

The Americans changed the entire semi-final team that had set the mark and included the veteran Allyson Felix in the group for the final.

They surged home in 3:09.34 seconds.

“She’s got 17 world championship medals so I felt like we can’t let her down,” quipped anchor Michael Cherry of running with Felix.

“I felt the pressure was on my back to get her a gold and not give her any silver. I wanted to get out hard and hold the lead. I didn’t want her to beat me up afterwards.”

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