Fraser-Pryce eyes 200m gold after capturing 100m
Shelly sees double
MOSCOW, Russia — The signs are good for Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to capture her first sprint double when she lines up for the final of the women's 200m later today on the seventh day of the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, four days after winning the 100m.
After winning her semi-final heat in the 200m yesterday in an easy-looking 22.54 seconds, easing up at the end, she told reporters her main job was to focus on the mental part of her race as physically she was ahead of where she was last year when she took the silver medal at the Olympic Games in London.
"I am only thinking about getting back to the hotel and getting some food and rest and working on the mental aspects of running a 200m race because physically I have done all I can for the background and coming into this championship," she said.
"I am only focusing on the execution (of the race) and what it is that I need to do to get to the front," Fraser-Pryce added.
Top American runner Allyson Felix, the winner of three of the last four World Championships 200m titles, leads the qualifiers for the final after winning her semi-final heat in a season's best 22.30 seconds.
Meanwhile, Jamaica failed to add to its three medals won so far after triple jumper Kimberly Williams just missed winning her first major medal by three centimetres, placing fourth yesterday in a new personal best 14.62m, while Nickiesha Wilson finished eighth in the 400m hurdles final.
Williams had mixed feeling after her best finish ever in a global championship at any level. "I am pleased with my (personal best) but to come so close (and not get a medal)," she said, obviously disappointed.
"At the start of the day, I told myself I would give it my best and that's what I did," the Olympic Games sixth-place finisher said. "This is my third major final so maybe next time I will be on the podium," said Williams.
The Jamaican qualified for the top-eight in seventh position after jumping 14.17m on her third jump then unleashed her new lifetime mark on the first jump of the additional three jumps.
Williams, however, fouled her final two jumps as Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen, the Olympic game silver medallist won with a World Leading 14.85m ahead of Russia's Ekaterina Koneva (14.81m) and 2011 champion, Ukraine's Olha Saladuha (14.65m).
In the women's 400m hurdles final, Wilson struggled home in eighth place in 57.34 seconds, well behind the winner Zuzana Hejnova's World Leading 52.83 seconds, extending her unbeaten season.
More medals will be on offer today as, along with Fraser-Pryce in the 200m, long jumper Damar Forbes will hope to join James Beckford as a Jamaican medallist at the event. The men's 4x400m team also look set to land a medal after an impressive run in the semi-finals yesterday.
There are some concerns over the health of Anneisha McLaughlin, who limped home in her 200m semi-final race. She was well positioned in third place when she slowed down at the 150m mark, grimacing in pain before collapsing just after crossing the finish line. She was later stretchered off the track to the medical area.
The third Jamaican Patricia Hall was eight in her semi-final in 23.26 seconds and failed to advance as well.
There were some celebrations for the Caribbean, however, as Trinidad and Tobago's Jehue Gordon chased and caught American Michael Tinsley on the line, clocking a World Leading and new National Record 47.49 seconds in the men's 4x400m hurdles final.
The 2010 World Junior champion ran a well-timed race to beat Tinsley who was one hundredth of a second behind in a new personal best 47.50 seconds, while Serbia's Emir Bekric ran a National Record 48.05 seconds for a surprise bronze.
After the disaster in London last year where the Jamaican men's 4x400m team failed to finish the first round, the youthful foursome had no such mishaps this time. The team of Rusheen McDonald, Javere Bell, Edino Steel and 18 year-old Javon Francis ran a season's best 3:00.41.
Francis, who is becoming a reliable anchor man, held off the experienced Martin Rooney of Great Britain in a stirring homestretch duel to land the victory for Jamaica in the second fastest time behind the USA's 2:59.85.
McDonald handed over at the same time with Great Britain and Bell stayed in front, but only marginally while Steele was challenged by Great Britain's Jamie Bowie, who handed over just ahead of the Jamaican.
Francis, who was a semi-finalist in the 400m, took on Rooney and as both men raced into the home stretch, swung wide into lane two and blew past him for the win.
There was disappointment for Olympic champions The Bahamas as they did not make it to the final, finishing fourth in their heat and 13th overall.
Trinidad is, however, in the final along with Brazil, Belgium, Poland and Russia.