LONDON, England — She thought her win four years in Beijing, China was sweeter as she was an unknown and inexperienced then, but you couldn't tell as she fell to the track in shock and surprise after her win in the women's 100m was confirmed on the big scoreboard inside Olympic Stadium last night.
In front of a packed stadium with capacity 80,000 spectators on a cool night perfect for sprinting, Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell Brown provided Jamaica's first two medals — gold and bronze at the XXX Olympiad in London to get the medal hunt underway and jump into third place, on the athletics table and 28th overall, tied with Ethiopia behind leaders Great Britain with three gold medals and the People's Republic of China with a gold and two bronze.
"I am excited," she said to reporters. "Happy 50th anniversary to Jamaica."
Fraser-Pryce clocked a fast 10.75 seconds pushed by a plus 1.5 metres per second wind to hold off American World Championships 100m winner Carmelita Jeter, who ran a season-best 10.78 seconds, with compatriot Veronica Campbell Brown taking the bronze, also in a season-best 10.81 seconds, in a nail-biting race.
The pint-sized sprinter with the brilliant smile, became the third woman to repeat as Olympic 100m champion and first none American after Wyomia Tyus's win in 1964 and 1968 and Gail Devers in 1992 and 1996.
Despite not getting off to her usually blazing fast start, Fraser-Pryce was in control early and moved away from the pack before holding on at the end to beat a fast closing Jeter and Campbell Brown.
Her coach Stephen Francis described her race afterwards as "very bad".
"She did not do much things right except crossed the line first and I think that shows you the type of competitor she is."
Added Francis: "Most of her technique left her in this race and now that she got this one out of the way she can get it technically better for the 200m."
The effervescent Fraser-Pryce was at a loss for words to describe her race. "I don't know how to feel, I am excited," she said as she thanked her family and those she said stuck by her as she went through tough times two years ago.
"I really don't know what happened to be honest," she told reporters in the mixed zone after the race celebrations.
"As a sprinter the first thing is to get out of the blocks first... but coach said I should go out and get the first stride correct and if I did not follow his instructions I hope you win."
While she savoured last night's win she said she had come into the Games as a favourite, causing some anxiety, while in China she was "inexperienced and did not know" if she could win.
With the first gold out of the way, Fraser-Pryce said she is still unaware of what to expect in the 200m to come later this week, but hinted she had gold on her mind. "I don't know what to expect, but I came here on a mission and it has not been completed, I will tell you after the 200m."
Campbell Brown, who was winning her 14th major medal and was agonisingly close to getting her first Olympic 100m gold, said she was grateful for the medal and that she would be on the podium today.
"It was a fast race, it was good, I was just happy and I won't make any excuses, I got a medal and that's absolutely good."
Campbell Brown now has four individual Olympic medals and will start her hunt for a third straight 200m title later this week. "Never get tired of winning medals, it is the reward for hard work and I am happy," she said.
Two hours earlier in the semi-finals, Fraser-Pryce had won her heat in an easy 10.85 seconds, easing up with some 40 metres to go, while Campbell Brown also looked easy taking second and an automatic spot in 10.89 seconds behind Jeter's 10.83 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce, who had replaced her green ribbon with a yellow one, got to the line ahead of Felix without much effort.