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Jamaican sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sends Olympic warning with 10.63 for 100m

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By AFP

KINGSTON: Jamaican sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the second fastest woman in history on Saturday, clocking a world-leading 10.63 seconds (1.3m/sec) for the 100m at the Olympic Destiny meeting in Kingston.

The 34-year-old reigning world and two-time Olympic 100m champion obliterated the field at the National Stadium, finishing several metres clear of her closest rival.

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Only late US sprinting star Florence Griffith-Joyner, who holds the world record of 10.49sec, has run faster.

Fraser-Pryce’s time smashed the previous 2021 world-leading time of 10.72sec set by Sha’Carri Richardson of the United States in March.

Fraser-Pryce had shared the Jamaican national record with Elaine Thompson-Herah at 10.70 seconds and she had a season’s best 10.84 seconds coming into the meet, organized by the Jamaica Olympic Association and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.

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After getting off to a bullet-like start, Fraser-Pryce ran away from the field to win by a massive margin, with Natasha Morrison a distant second in 10.95 seconds and Kashieka Cameron third on 11.39.

Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champion, was running her fourth 100m for the season and as surprised by her time as the small gathering at the stadium.

“Honestly, no, I wasn’t coming out here to run that fast,” she said. “Thank God that I finish healthy.”

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She said she was able to relax and run as “there was no pressure — just wanted to get one more race in before the national trials.”

Fraser-Pryce did hint, however, that she can run faster with the Olympics approaching.

“If I am able to run 10.6 now and trials is some time away, this year I just wanted to break the 10.7 barrier so now I can focus on making the team to the Olympics,” she said.

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Fraser-Pryce, who passed Americans Marion Jones (10.65) and Carmelita Jeter (10.64) on the all-time list, said Saturday’s race should be taken in context.

“It’s one part of the process,” she said. “I can’t get too complacent as I still have to make the national team at the national trials.”

Only the top three finishers in the event at the Jamaican Championships set for June 24-27 will be selected to run the 100 metres at the Tokyo Olympics set for July.

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