Event Report - Women's 100m - Final
Shelly-Ann Fraser of Jamaica en route to winning her first World Championship 100m title (Getty Images)
If ever a race was decided out of the blocks this was it as the Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser added the World title with a sensational world leading 10.73 to climb to joint third on the all-time lists.
The Jamaican held off a late charge from her compatriot, Kerron Stewart, to clinch the gold medal by just 0.02 with America's Carmelita Jeter securing a second successive World bronze in 10.90.
The defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica wound up fourth with a season's best 10.95 with the 2005 champion, Lauryn Williams of the USA, equalling her season's best in 11.01 for fifth but this race was all about Fraser.
In yesterday's early rounds it seemed as if Stewart, the world leader with 10.75 coming into the championships, and Jeter, the American powerhouse, were the fancied gold medal contenders.
However, Fraser, the Jamaican champion, sounded a clear warning of her gold medal potential taking the first semi-final in 10.79 - the fastest ever legal women's 100m semi-final time at a global championships - thanks largely to her blistering start.
The final was Groundhog Day for his opponents, as once again she stormed out of the blocks and dictated the rhythm of the race from the outset. By halfway she held a clear three metre lead on the rest of the field with Stewart her nearest pursuer. Jeter was a distant third and was struggling to reproduce her 10.84 personal best time, recorded in the second semi-final earlier tonight.
Gradually though the longer-striding Stewart was making inroads on the diminutive Fraser and as the finishing line approached she was eating up the gap with every stride. Both lunged desperately for the line but Fraser held on. Only just. Oh, for the ability to start.
Jeter comfortably took the bronze and at least denied Jamaica what would have been the first ever clean sweep in this event at a World Championships.
Fraser, 22, knelt down to the track after her success and held her head in her hands in almost disbelief at what she had just achieved. The 22-year-old had not only climbed to joint third on the all-time lists (equalling the mark of 10.73 set by Christine Arron of France) but became only the second woman in history to simultaneously hold the World and Olympic 100m titles (the other being American Gail Devers) and also wrestled the Jamaican record from Stewart.
The silver medallist, Stewart, had herself equalled her personal best mark posted at the Rome Golden League meeting.
For the record it was the second fastest ever time recorded in this event at a World Championships - 0.03 behind Marion Jones' mark posted ten years ago.
Interestingly, when assessing the stats Fraser at 0.146 had only the fourth fastest reaction time from the blocks but her ability to shift her legs over the first five metres remains the envy of the world.
Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie edged the battle of the Bahamas as she was awarded sixth from her countrywoman Chandra Sturrup, although both were credited with 11.05. Jamaica's Aleen Bailey was eight in 11.16.
Steve Landells for the IAAF
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