Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Jamaica in line for first World Champs medal sweep

Published:Wednesday | July 6, 2022 | 12:12 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer

AT THE Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Jamaica’s women enjoyed their first sweep of medals at the global level, where Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led a Jamaican 1-2-2 in the 100 metres. The photo finish camera could not separate her teammates, Sherone...

AT THE Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Jamaica’s women enjoyed their first sweep of medals at the global level, where Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led a Jamaican 1-2-2 in the 100 metres.

The photo finish camera could not separate her teammates, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart for silver, with both being awarded second place to complete the medal sweep.

Last year, at another Olympic Games in Tokyo, the country’s women were again involved in a medal sweep in the same event.

This time it was the defending champion, Elaine Thompson Herah, who led the way with Fraser-Pryce taking second and Shericka Jackson capturing the bronze.

Fraser-Pryce could be involved in another medal sweep when the World Athletics Championships get underway in Eugene, Oregon, next week as she leads all contestants with a season’s best 10.67 seconds. Teammates, Jackson, 10.77, and Thompson Herah, 10.79, close out the top three times going into the Championships.

A lot will be at stake individually for all three athletes as Fraser-Pryce looks to defend her title, while Thompson Herah, the double double sprint Olympic champion, will be hoping to break her World Championships gold medal jinx, and former training partner of the two, Jackson will want to show that she has arrived as a sprinter.

SOMETHING SPECIAL

If they carry their good form into the Championships, it will take something special from any other athlete to thwart the Jamaica one-two-three.

But that isn’t to say there aren’t dangers.

St Lucia’s Julien Alfred, 10.81, and the United States duo of Aleia Hobbs and Melissa Jefferson, 10.82 each, are next in the ranking, but will have to produce extraordinary performances if they hope to finish ahead of any of the Jamaicans.

It would be hard to bet against a one-two-three finish for the Jamaicans but it would be equally difficult to pick the trifecta.

Fraser-Pryce is expected to lead at the start but the fast-finishing Thompson Herah and Jackson, who has shown significant improvement with her starts, could peg back the defending champion.

While a one-two-three at the World Championships would undoubtedly be brilliant, a one-two-three-four would be out of this world.

Kemba Nelson, the other representative in the event for Jamaica has only gone 10.88 seconds and had to pull off an exceptional performance at the National Championships where she defeated Thompson Herah.

But it is important to note though, that Nelson will be competing at home on the track where she represented the University of Oregon in what was a largely successful season.

sports@gleanerjm.com