Sport

Way to go, Shelly!

Jamaica’s darling of sprint cops World Indoor 60m gold

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Monday, March 10, 2014    

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JAMAICA'S Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continued to accumulate global gold medals, as she added the IAAF World Indoor Championships 60m gold on yesterday's final day of the event at the Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland.

Fraser-Pryce, who won Olympic and World Championships gold medals in the 100m in outdoor action and took triple gold last year in Moscow, ran a personal best and world-leading 6.98 seconds to win yesterday.

Her debut win in Poland represents a third consecutive gold medal for Jamaica at the World Indoor Championship after Veronica Campbell Brown had won the previous two in Doha in 2010 and Istanbul two years ago.

Fraser-Pryce is also the fourth Jamaican woman to win the event after the legendary Merlene Ottey had won in 1995 in Barcelona, Spain.

On yesterday's final day of the Sopot games, Jamaica picked up two additional medals -- a silver in the women's 4x400m relays and a bronze in the men's 4x400m. Both were done in new national indoor record times to finish the three-day championship with five medals, equalling the haul in 2004 in Budapest, Hungary. That haul falls behind the six medals earned on two occasions -- Paris, France 1997 and Lisbon, Portugal 2001.

The five medals, including a silver by Kaliese Spencer in the women's 400m and a bronze in the triple jump by Kimberly Williams, saw Jamaica place fifth overall behind the USA with 12 medals (eight gold, two silver and two bronze), Russia with five (three gold and two silver), Ethiopia with five (two gold, two silver and a bronze) and Great Britain with six medals (one gold, two silver and three bronze).

Yesterday, Fraser-Pryce who earlier won her semi-final in 7.08 seconds, beat pre-championships favourite Muriel Ahoure of the Ivory Coast, who ran a season's best 7.01 seconds for her second straight silver after losing to Campbell Brown in Istanbul, while American Tianna Bartoletta took the bronze in 7.06 seconds.

Fraser-Pryce was fast out of her blocks and propelled her diminutive frame to the head of the field and remained through the finish line on the bright blue track at the packed-out Ergo Arena.

But she warned, however, that her appearance in these world indoors could realistically be her last.

"The next world indoors are in the Olympic year (in Portland, in 2016 before the Summer Games in Rio), so I am not sure if I will do any more," Fraser-Pryce said.

"Winning this gold medal feels like I have never won it before, like it was my first gold. That is why I always try to do my best. I'm very excited for the gold because it is very tough at 60m," said the Jamaican.

Campbell Brown, who was racing for only the third time this season after being cleared of doping charges by the Court of Arbitration for Sports two weeks ago, finished fifth in a season's best 7.13 seconds.

Jamaica's women's 4x400m team set a second national record, running 3:26.54 minutes after clocking 3:29.43 in the semi-finals on Saturday for second behind the USA, who ran a world-leading 3:24.83, while Great Britain were third in 3:27.90.

The Jamaica team ran 3:03.69 for a new national record to take the bronze behind a new World Indoor record 3:02.13 by the USA with Great Britain second in 3:03.49.

Also yesterday, a right ankle sprain prevented Andrew Riley from showing up for the men's 60m hurdles final after qualifying from Saturday's semi-finals.

An Achilles tendon injury had affected him at last year's World Championships in Moscow where he qualified for the finals of the 110m hurdles.

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