Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Paul Chelimo grab defining wins at London Diamond League

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had not raced in the Diamond League in two years. Paul Chelimo had never won at an international meet.

Both grabbed wins at the first day of a Diamond League stop at the London Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

Fraser-Pryce, the two-time Olympic 100m champion who missed 2017 due to pregnancy, broke 11 seconds for the first time as a mother. She won in 10.98 seconds, edging American Dezerea Bryant by .06.

“I cannot complain because I haven’t raced for ages and I’m happy that the run today was under 11 seconds,” said Fraser-Pryce, who has raced in smaller meets this spring and summer. “It’s hard work racing after having a child, but it’s not as though it’s anything I’m not used to. I’m used to sacrificing and making sure that my path is right. Being a mother is my first priority and to come back and be flexible with my training is wonderful and I’m so excited about next year now.”

The field lacked the world’s top sprinters — like Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson and world champ Tori Bowie — but the Jamaican Fraser-Pryce impressed with the fastest time in the heats an hour before the final.

In the men’s 100m, meet headliner Christian Coleman withdrew before the heats with a hamstring injury. Coleman, the 2017 World silver medalist, missed all June meets with a hamstring injury. Countryman Ronnie Baker won in 9.90 in his absence, .02 off the fastest time in the world this season that he shares with Noah Lyles.

Full London results are here. The two-day meet concludes Sunday, live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA at 9 a.m. ET and NBC Sports Gold at 8:45.

In other events, Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo became the second U.S. man to win a Diamond League 5000m. Chelimo surged past Ethiopian Yomif Kejelecha in the last straightaway for his first international win, according to Tilastopaja.org. He clocked 13:14.01 with world champion Muktar Edris of Ethiopia grabbing second in 13:14.35 ahead of Kejelcha.

The only other American man to win a Diamond League 5000m was Ben True in 2014.

The 2012 Olympic 400m champion Kirani James finished third in his first Diamond League race since his Rio Olympic silver medal. James, of Grenada, missed time after being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease.

James led up until about 300 meters and faded in the last straightaway as Qatar’s Abdalleleh Haroun won in 44.07. James crossed in 44.50, just off his 2018 best time of 44.35 that ranks him 10th in the world this season.

In the pole vault, Sam Kendricks outdueled Renaud Lavillenie, clearing 5.92 meters to better the Frenchman for a 12th time in their last 15 head-to-heads, according to Tilastopaja.

U.S. champion Shamier Little outleaned Jamaican Janieve Russell to win the 400m hurdles by .01 in 53.95. Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad was third in 54.86.

“I put my soul into that lean,” Little said, according to meet organizers.

Little, the 2015 World silver medalist, has been best in the event in the second half of the season, following her June national title with two straight Diamond League wins. The fastest woman this year is American Sydney McLaughlin (52.75), who appears to have ended her season at the NCAA Championships in early June.

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce announces pregnancy

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Two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will miss the 2017 season due to pregnancy but plans to return in 2018, according to the Jamaican sprinter’s social media.

“All my focus heading into training for my 2017 season was on getting healthy and putting myself in the best possible fitness to successfully defend my [world 100m] title in London2017,” was posted on Fraser-Pryce’s Facebook page. “But life is filled with many blessings with God. So here I am thinking about being the greatest mother I can be with my biggest blessing and the promise God made me.  Moving forward on this journey, I look forward to seeing you all in 2018 when I return to competition.”

Fraser-Pryce, 30, took Olympic 100m gold in 2008 and 2012 and then bronze in Rio, where she was bidding to become the first person to win three straight Olympic 100m titles.

Fraser-Pryce suffered from a toe injury last year and was beaten by Jamaican training partner Elaine Thompson, who swept the 100m and 200m in Rio.

Fraser-Pryce also won three of the last four world 100m titles. A new champion will be crowned at the world championships in London in August, with Thompson and Olympic silver medalist Tori Bowie the early favorites.

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Usain Bolt, more Olympic champions to get statues next to Jamaican legends

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Usain Bolt will be immortalized near Bob Marley and his Jamaican Olympic heroes next year.

Bolt, along with Olympic champion teammates Shelly-Ann Fraser-PryceVeronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell, will be honored with statues in a park outside the National Stadium in Kingston. The four statues will be constructed in the next two years.

There are a few statues already in that area, including of the singer Marley and Jamaican Olympic sprint legends Herb McKenleyDon Quarrie and Merlene Ottey.

In 2014, Bolt called McKenley the greatest Olympian of all time.

Bolt and Fraser-Pryce’s statues are slated to be finished next year, followed by Campbell-Brown and Powell.

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