Briana Williams

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Briana Williams, Jamaican sprint phenom, withdraws from world championships

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Briana Williams, a 17-year-old Jamaican sprint phenom, withdrew from the world championships the day before the women’s 100m begins, despite being cleared of a potential ban for a positive drug test.

Williams posted on social media that she had not flown to Doha before a Jamaican panel decided not to punish her over a positive test from June. The panel reportedly ruled that she was not at fault for a guardian giving her a tablet that caused the positive.

Last month, Williams’ attorney said the sprinter took a legal cold medication and listed it on her doping control form. Via lab tests, tablets were found to contain a banned diuretic that was not listed among its ingredients.

“Considering the long trip to Doha and that the team has already started training for the relays. I am just relieved and thankful after what has been a very emotional summer,” was posted on her social media Friday. “I would like to once again express my gratitude to everyone right across Jamaica who reached out to show support.”

Williams ran the fastest 100m in history for an under-18 woman at the Jamaican Championships on June 21, taking third in 10.94 seconds with a fever behind the last two Olympic champions, Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She ranks sixth in the world this year.

Thompson, Fraser-Pryce and Brit Dina Asher-Smith are the three fastest women in the field at worlds.

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Elaine Thompson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sizzle at Jamaican Championships

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Jamaica’s Olympic sprint queens Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showed Friday that they aren’t ceding the 100m throne to breakout American teen Sha’Carri Richardson.

Thompson, who turns 27 next Friday, and Fraser-Pryce, 32, went one-two at Jamaica’s world championships trials, as many expected.

Somewhat more catching were their identical times — 10.73 seconds to wrestle the 2019 world No. 1 ranking from Richardson.

Two weeks ago, the 19-year-old Richardson entered the all-time top 10 by winning the NCAA Championships in 10.75 seconds, the fastest time ever for a teenager. She then turned professional, setting her Diamond League debut for the Pre Classic on June 30, with Fraser-Pryce also in that field (live on NBC Sports).

Thompson, who swept the Rio Olympic 100m and 200m, consolidated her favorite status for the world championships in Doha in September. After going winless internationally in 2018, she has now won her last two starts with her two fastest times since August 2017.

“I’ve been battling with Achilles injury, and it’s been a tough season so to come out here and retain my national title means a lot to me as I’m not 100 percent,”  a tearful Thompson said, according to Reuters.

Fraser-Pryce, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champ, clocked her fastest time in nearly six years and since Aug. 7, 2017, childbirth. Nobody has run that fast at 32 years or older. She broke Russian Irina Privalova‘s record as the fastest mom in history.

“To be honest I’m defying odds,” she said, according to Reuters.

Also notable was third-place finisher Briana Williams, who clocked 10.94 seconds at age 17 with a fever, the fastest time ever for somebody that young.

In the men’s 100m, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake won in 9.96 seconds, ranking him sixth in the world this year. Former world-record holder Asafa Powell, now 36, did not start his semifinal.

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