Four names, one favorite: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads contenders in women’s 100 meters

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
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The other two-time Olympic 100-meter champion from Jamaica will look to regain her world title Monday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce tops the women’s 100 at the World Championships in Moscow, where they will run the semifinals (11:35 a.m. Eastern time) and finals (1:50 p.m.) Monday evening.

Like Bolt, Fraser-Pryce won the 100 at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2009 World Championships. Also like Bolt, she did not win the world title in 2011 (Bolt false started, Fraser-Pryce took fourth).

She only qualified seventh into the semifinals, but that came in a race where she appeared to shut it down after about 30 meters. Fraser-Pryce, 26, owns the fastest time in the world this year (10.77) and could chase the championship record of 10.70 set by the disgraced Marion Jones in 1999.

“I am focusing on the execution, because I know that if I run the race the way I am supposed to, then I will do great things,” Fraser-Pryce, who launched a business called Chic Hair Ja earlier this year, told the Jamaica Gleaner.

Her biggest challenger is Blessing Okagbare, the 5-foot-11 Nigerian who won silver in the long jump Sunday. Okagbare has run 10.79 this year, the only other woman entered in Moscow who has run sub-10.85 in 2013.

Another medal contender, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste, withdrew from worlds Saturday after learning she failed a drug test. Baptiste took bronze at the 2011 worlds and joins the silver medalist from two years ago, Veronica Campbell-Brown, in missing this race after positive tests.

The American contingent follows Okagbare. U.S. and NCAA champion English Gardner, 21, led all qualifiers into the semifinals with a 10.94 on Sunday, the fastest first-round time ever at a worlds. Gardner’s form in Europe was suspect before that 10.94. Her job is to prove she can be consistent through the rounds.

The defending world champion is a bit under the radar. Carmelita Jeter, 33, qualified 14th out of 24 semifinalists. She’s not assured of making the final if the quadriceps injury that’s plagued her since May bothers her Monday.

Medal Picks
Gold: Fraser-Pryce
Silver: Okagbare
Bronze: Murielle Ahoure (CIV)

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