Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce posted the fastest 100m time in the world this year as the two-time Olympic champion clocked 10.67 seconds to win at the Kip Keino Classic, the season’s third World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Nairobi on Saturday
The 35-year-old, who has won eight Olympic medals including silver in Tokyo last summer, won very easily after 18-year-old Namibian sensation Christine Mboma pulled up suddenly before collapsing to the track.
Fraser-Pryce’s winning time was just seven-hundredths of a second off her personal best of 10.60, set in Lausanne in August 2021.
“It was very good, the atmosphere was fantastic,” said Fraser-Pryce after clocking her third sub-10.7 run within 12 months. “I’m not sure if it was perfect – I’d have to see the replay. But the time tells me that my training has been going great.”
Egypt’s Bassant Hemida set a national record of 11.02 in second. USA’s Shannon Ray was third in 11.33.
It was the second race for Fraser-Pryce this season after she could only manage second place to Bahamian Anthonique Strachan of MVP Track Club in her season-opening 200m race at the Velocity Fest 11 in Kingston on April 23.
Only four other women have run the 100m 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 world record holder American Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49).
At the other end of the programme, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala provided the climax of the evening. Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs was a late withdrawal after suffering from stomach problems since arriving in Kenya. Not that it mattered too much to the majority of fans in the stadium – most of whom went wild when Omanyala was introduced to the crowd.
And moments later, when Omanyala won in a world-leading 9.85 (2.0m/s), the noise from the spectators sounded like hailstones bounding on an iron sheet roof top. USA’s Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerley – who ran for a decent stretch after a recall gun was sounded at the first time of asking – finished second in a season’s best of 9.92 ahead of compatriot Isiah Young (10.13).