Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kimberly Williamson, and Megan Tapper will be the Jamaicans in action as the 2022 World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series continues this weekend with the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi on Saturday and the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo on Sunday.
Fraser-Pryce and Williamson will compete at the Kip Keino Classic while Tapper will be in action at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix.
At the Kip Keino Classic, all eyes will be on some of the world’s best sprinters as they seek to take advantage of the high altitude at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, Kenya.
Fraser-Pryce will race Namibia’s Christine Mboma in the women’s 100m.
Fraser-Pryce, 35, has already established herself as a sprinting legend, with her personal best of 10.60 making her the third-fastest women’s 100m runner in history. She has also won three Olympic sprint gold medals to go with her 10 world titles.
Mboma, on the other hand, is seen as a rising star to watch out for. The Olympic silver medallist and world U20 champion in the 200m has been entered in both the 100m and 200m in Nairobi and will be facing Fraser-Pryce in the first shorter race.
The men’s 100m is also expected to thrill the spectators as the gold and silver medallists from the Tokyo Olympic Games will be meeting, as Italy’s Marcell Jacobs takes on USA’s Fred Kerley.
Jacobs has the faster personal best of 9.80, set when winning the Olympic title, compared to Kerley’s 9.84 in that Olympic final. Kerley, however, knows the stadium well as it is where he ran his 200m PB of 19.76 last year.
“It’s wonderful to be back where I ended my season last year,” said Kerley after his arrival in Nairobi.
It won’t be a two-horse race, though, with Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala, who has the fastest PB of 9.77, also lining up, along with USA’s Olympic 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek.
Williamson will compete in the women’s high jump
On Sunday, Tapper, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist will take on USA’s world record-holder Kendra Harrison in the 100m hurdles.
The pair’s last duel was in fact at the Tokyo Olympics, where Harrison took the silver medal in 12.52, just 0.03 ahead of bronze medallist Tapper. Harrison, the world silver medallist, and 2018 world indoor champion, has shown the best early season form of the two, speeding to wind-assisted times of 12.32 in her specialist event and 22.19 in the 200m at the Texas Relays in late March. Tapper, meanwhile, opened her outdoor campaign with a comfortable 12.80 win in Kingston at the end of April.
It will be more than a two-woman race, though.
World indoor bronze medallist and US indoor champion Gabbi Cunningham also lined up against Harrison and Tapper in last year’s Olympic final and will do so again on Sunday. Japan’s Masumi Aoki and her predecessor as national record-holder, Asuka Terada, add further quality to the line-up.