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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price wins with record margin & Oliver wins 110mH

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price wins with record margin & Oliver wins 110mH

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price dresses to thrill

by:Nicole Jeffery in Moscow
From:The Australian
August 13, 2013

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reacts as he crosses the line to win the women's 100m final Source: AP

FOR the occasion of the world championships 100m final, dual Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price wore a neon pink ponytail, tied up with a gold and black polka-dot bow.

She had the sprint title tied up just as neatly just over ten seconds later.

In truth, it was obvious from the semi-finals two hours earlier, when the Jamaican diva blazed to a 10.87sec run into a slight headwind, that she would take a truck-load of beating in the final.

With the gold medal in play, she was more Bolt-like than Usain in her supremacy over the world's fastest women.

She was fast out of the blocks but it was her drive between 20 and 40m which was truly breath-taking as she jumped a metre in front of her rivals and then kept going away to win the blue ribband sprint by the greatest margin in world championships history, 0.22sec, and in the fastest time of the year, 10.71s, despite a slight headwind.

“I didn't let any distractions get in," Fraser-Pryce said. "I knew I just needed to get my start right. It's my strength."

The biggest winning margin previously was 0.10sec by Silke Gladish of the now-disgraced East German regime in 1987.

Fraser-Pryce was two metres clear of the delighted runner-up Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast, who broke the Jamaican-American dominance of the medal podium, clocking 10.93s, just fractionally ahead of former world champion Carmelita Jeter (10.94s).

But the ease of the Jamaican's victory may create unease in the wider athletics community as Fraser-Pryce is coached by Stephen Francis and is a training partner of Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, who are both absent from Moscow after giving positive drug tests for a banned stimulant.

The run of reigning Olympic champions going on to victory in Moscow came to an crushing end in the men's 110m hurdles where world record-holder Aries Merritt could only manage sixth after a preparation disrupted by repeated hamstring tears.

He was unrecognisable from the man who clocked the fastest time in history 12.80sec, a month after his London triumph last year, more than half a second slower (13.31s). His US teammate, veteran David Oliver made the most of the opportunity, taking a commanding win in 13.00sec, the fastest time of the year.

He was more than a metre clear of another American Ryan Wilson (13.13s) with Russia's Sergey Shubenkov (13.24s) third , just ahead of the defending champion Jason Richardson (13.27s).

Oliver, 31, has been one of the world's leading hurdlers for years but had never won a major title before today.

"This victory means the world to me,” he said.

"It feel so great to finally put this thing around my neck.”

Merritt has counselled his female counterpart, Australia's 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson, to keep the faith while she has battled similar hamstring troubles this year but she will now have to take her inspiration from elsewhere as she prepares for her title defence on Saturday.

In an even bigger upset, Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie of France was defeated on a countback by Germany's Raphael Holzdeppe after both men cleared 5.89m. However the German did it on the first attempt, while the Frenchman, who has leaped 6.03m this year but seemed out of sorts in Moscow, required three attempts.

Botswanan Amantle Montsho's 400m title defence went the same way when she was pipped on the finish line by Britain's 1988 Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu.

The two women had to be separated by the photo finish technology, which decreed that the Briton had won by four-thousandths of a second in a British record of 49.41s.

But while champions were falling around her, New Zealand's juggernaut shotputter Valerie Adams continued to stand tall, winning her fourth consecutive world title with a best throw of 20.88m.

This time Adams did stand on the top of the podium and hear her national anthem, making up for the disappointment of last year's Olympics, when she was initially awarded the silver medal only to be elevated to gold when Belarussian Nadezhda Ostapchuk was stripped of the gold medal for giving a positive drug test.

"It's even more amazing to win coming off the London Olympics. Yes, I probably made the history becoming the first four-time world champion and I think it's good for women's sport as a whole,’’ Adam said.

"I win because I work hard, I work and train only to win. If you do that, then success will eventually come.”

Germany's Christine Schwanitz (20.41m) took the silver in Moscow, ahead Gong Lijiao (19.95m).

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