Fraser-Pryce takes it easy as she eyes sprint double
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has her eyes on a golden sprint double at the world championships after curtailing the celebrations following her 100 metres victory.
Fraser-Pryce, who took 100 gold at the London Olympics but silver in the longer sprint, will face defending champion Allyson Felix in the final of the 200 after winning her semi yesterday without hitting top gear.
Aiming to become the first woman since Katrin Krabbe in 1991 to win the sprint double at the world championships, the 26-year-old practically jogged over the line to take her race in 22.54.
“I feel much better than last year. This year I did not celebrate so much, and I am resting more,” Fraser-Pryce told reporters.
“They say about the final ‘no pain, no gain’. Once I am in the blocks I know what to do.”
A late surge gave Mariya Ryemyen second place and a spot in today’s final to the joy of the several hundred blue or yellow clad Ukraine fans, who have become a regular and noisy feature at the Luzhniki stadium.
Felix, who with eight world championships golds needs one more to set an outright record, said after the heats earlier in the day that she had been itching to get a taste of the action and it was clear why as she comfortably clocked the fastest time of the round with 22.30 seconds.
In second, the tireless Blessing Okagbare, runner-up in the long jump and sixth in the 100 final already at these championships, was the only athlete who could stay anywhere near Felix in 22.39.
“I just want to do well as long as my body carries me,” the Nigerian told reporters. “Regardless of how I feel, I have to go through the competition and see what happens.”
Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure, who became the first African woman to finish on the podium in a sprint at the world championships with silver in the 100, won the other semi in 22.46.
Meanwhile, Czech Zuzana Hejnova, who won the 400 metres hurdles title yesterday, put her success down to training with the boys after she demolished her opposition to break 53 seconds for the first time in her career.
The Olympic bronze medallist, unbeaten this season, clocked the fastest time in the world this year of 52.83 seconds for victory.
Dalilah Muhammad of the United States was second in 54.09, and her compatriot and 2011 world champion Lashinda Demus took third in 54.27.
“To run under 53 seconds--it is fantastic. The reason for my improvement is that I changed coach and I now train with the boys,” the 26-year-old told reporters.
“They are faster, so they are my motivation.”
After London 2012, Hejnova linked up with Dalibor Kupka, former coach to 2004 Olympic decathlon champion Roman Sebrle, and she counts European 400 metres gold medallist Pavel Maslak among her new training partners.
“It’s a fantastic season for me. I’m still unbeatable... and I broke my personal best and the national record,” Hejnova added.
It was only the second track gold for the Czech Republic at a world championships after Ludmila Formanova won the 800 in 1999.
American Demus went off fast and was the first to rise but Hejnova never let her rivals get too far in front, relying on her strength over the second part of the race to reel them in and leave them trailing.
Medal favourite Perri Shakes-Drayton was a disappointing seventh after suffering an injury to her left knee during the race.
“It was going all right until the first hurdle and after the first hurdle my knee just felt funny,” the Briton said.
“It was going so well, leading the heats and the semi. But tonight after the first bend I was just going back and back and back.”
Russia’s Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh did not make the final.
400 Hurdles — 1, Jehue Gordon, Trinidad & Tobago, 47.69. 2, Michael Tinsley, United States, 47.70. 3, Emir Bekric, Serbia, 48.05.
3,000 Steeplechase — 1, Ezekiel Kemboi, Kenya, 8:06.01, 2, Conseslus Kipruto, Kenya, 8:06.37. 3, Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, France, 8:07.86.
High Jump — 1, Bohdan Bondarenko, Ukraine, 7-10¾. 2, Mutaz Essa Barshim, Qatar, 7-9¾. 3, Derek Drouin, Canada, 7-9¾.
1,500 — 1, Abeba Aregawi, Sweden, 4:02.67. 2, Jennifer Simpson, United States, 4:02.99. 3, Hellen Onsando Obiri, Kenya, 4:03.86.
400 Hurdles — 1, Zuzana Hejnova, Czech Republic, 52.83. 2, Dalilah Muhammad, united States, 54.09. 3, Lashinda Demus, United States, 54.27.
Triple Jump — 1, Caterine Ibarguen, Colombia, 48-8¾. 2, Ekaterina Koneva, Russia, 48-7¼. 3, Olha Saladuha, Ukraine, 48-0¾.