Preview

Women's 100m - PREVIEW

Birthday girl Veronica Campbell-Brown (c) edges Carmelita Jeter (l) in the Shanghai 100m (Errol Anderson)Birthday girl Veronica Campbell-Brown (c) edges Carmelita Jeter (l) in the Shanghai 100m (Errol Anderson) © Copyright

Carmelita Jeter for a second successive season has proved herself the world's most capable 100m performer and after finishing third at the last two Championships must feel this is going to be her golden year.


The 31-year-old Californian and second fastest of all-time over 100m (10.64) behind fellow American Florence Griffith-Joyner must rightly feel this is going to be the big time occasion when she can finally trump her rivals - notably from the Caribbean Islands - and restore Team USA pride by becoming its sixth champion in an always hotly contested event.


Everything has gone perfectly for Jeter this year particularly on the Samsung Diamond League circuit where apart from losing to Veronica Campbell-Brown on the Shanghai leg on 15 May where her Jamaican rival beat her by 0.03sec, she has been the picture of perfection.


Jeter who set an impressive early season World lead of 10.86 on her great rival's home soil in Kingston a week before that loss then saw Campbell-Brown post a global lead of 10.76 in Ostrava on 31 May.


With a vengeance four days later at the Prefontaine Classic meet in Eugene Jeter roared to a 10.70 clocking, the third fastest of her career, to go again top of the rankings where she has remained ever since.


Jeter's performance set her up nicely for her return to Track City in Eugene for the USA Championships and World Trials three weeks later where she duly clinched her place with a 10.74 windy performance before also guaranteeing a place in the 200m when placing second.


That saw the John Smith-coached athlete concentrate her attention for the next month on the longer distance before returning like a Knight in shining armour to win the Stockholm and London stages of the SDL before returning her home for final pre-Daegu preparations.


The reigning SDL overall champion well aware local knowledge is always a  great advantage will carry that weapon in her armoury when returning to the South Korean track where she has triumphed in the Colourful Pre-Championships meet for the last three years.


Despite Jeter's ascendancy down the home stretch and at venues encompassing the continent's of Asia, Europe and North America in her three month stint on the ever expanding global circuit this year, she will realise that no race is won until getting past the finish line.


That fact was driven home to Jeter at last year's IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha. Favourite to win the title her ambition was dented by Campbell-Brown driving past to win the first ever 60m medal of her career in yet another of their great head-to-heads.


The next will take place when the women's heats get underway in Daegu on 28 August - the previous and opening day will see a posse of hopefuls going through the motions of joining them in the preliminary for those not holding the qualifier - with the semi final and final on 29 August.


Campbell-Brown despite Jeter having been in such great form, will herself arrive for the confrontation with five sub-11sec under her belt just one less than the world leader has amassed, but more importantly with the reputation as a recognised gold medallist.


The reigning Olympic 200m champion can point to a very high profile over the 100m distance as well with a third place at the 2004 Athens Games and a silver medal behind the USA's Lauren Williams in the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki. Two years later in Osaka she reversed their positions with Jeter finishing third in a photo-finish by just 0.01sec.


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be defending her Championship crown and although injury has restricted her build-up, the ability of anyone with her talent can never be ruled out. Her season's best of 10.95 in Eugene on 4 June is ready to rewritten and with her great Jamaican spirit the Olympic title holder will be up for the challenge.


So too should be Kerron Stewart who split her teammate and Jeter in Berlin two years ago and proved her mettle when in a highly competitive race taking second behind Campbell-Brown in the Jamaican trials, where Fraser-Pryce as a defending champion did not have to compete, qualified by right for the Worlds.


Kelly-Ann Baptiste is another from the richly talented Caribbean Islands who could throw a spanner in the works of the main contenders and if successful win Trinidad and Tobago's first ever women's 100 medal. The 24-year-old showed her potential when claiming the inaugural IAAF/VTB Bank title in Split last September.


Now the 2003 World Youth bronze medallist who has yet to reach a major Championships final could be a big player on the world stage. Having beaten Campbell-Brown at the SDL Paris meet with a season's best 10.91 and finished runner-up to Jeter on the London leg, she could be a very serious threat to the sprint pack.


David Martin for the IAAF