Thursday 9 July, 2020

Fraser-Pryce and US teenager Richardson face off in Prefontaine

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce competes at the Jamaican trials at the weekend. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce competes at the Jamaican trials at the weekend. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).

World leaders  Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Christian Coleman form part of two strong 100m fields at the Prefontaine Classic, part of the IAAF Diamond League, which will take place in Stanford on Sunday.

All eight women in the field have previously bettered 11 seconds and four of them have sub-10.80 personal bests.

Multiple world and Olympic champion  Fraser-Pryce, who became a mother in 2017, is back to her best. At the recent Jamaican Championships she posted times of 10.73 and 22.22 – her fastest times since 2013 and just a whisker away from her lifetime bests.

The 32-year-old won the Prefontaine Classic 100m in 2013 and 2015 so will be looking for a third victory this weekend.

But the experienced Jamaican will be up against one of the newest and most exciting sprint talents.

Sha’Carri Richardson, aged just 19, won the 100m in 10.75 and placed second in the 200m in 22.17 at the NCAA Championships earlier this month, breaking the world U20 records in both events (pending ratification).

The teenager has since turned professional and this will be her first race since her record-breaking feats at the NCAA Championships.

Double world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who won last year’s Pre Classic, will be back, so too will her Ivorian compatriot Murielle Ahoure, the 2018 Diamond League champion.

Two-time Pre Classic winner English Gardner, US champion Aleia Hobbs, world indoor bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji and Olympic finalist Michelle-Lee Ahye are also in the loaded field.

The men's 100m will feature 2018 Jamaican champion Tyquendo Tracey. However, all eyes will be on Coleman.

In 2018 Coleman broke the world indoor 60m record, won world indoor 60m gold and ended the season with the fastest time in the world, 9.79. After finishing second at the Prefontaine Classic in 2018 in a wind-aided 9.84, the 23-year-old returns to this year’s edition off the back of two world-leading marks: 9.86 in Shanghai and 9.85 in Olso.

This weekend he will face a field full of sub-10-second performers, two of whom have bettered that barrier this year.

Cravon Gillespie recorded lifetime bests of 9.93 for 100m and 19.93 for 200m on the same day to finish second in both events at the recent NCAA Championships.

European champion Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain is undefeated at 100m this year and heads to Stanford with a season’s best of 9.97, just 0.06 shy of his lifetime best.

The field also includes world champion Justin Gatlin, prolific sub-10-second performer Michael Rodgers, 2018 NCAA champion Cameron Burrell and Italian record-holder Filippo Tortu.


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