28 JUL 2012 Preview Ann Fraser

Women's 100 Metres - PREVIEW

Carmelita Jeter and Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce square off in London 2011 (organisers)Carmelita Jeter and Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce square off in London 2011 (organisers) © Copyright
Pryce made history when becoming the first Jamaican woman to win the 100m title four years ago, a feat which eluded Juliet Cuthbert and the legendary Merlene Ottey in their 1992 and 1996 appearances.

Now the reigning champion will be looking to retain her title, a feat last achieved by Gail Devers when despatching Cuthbert and Ottey to their defeats in Barcelona and then the home territory of Atlanta.

Fraser-Pryce has had pretty mixed fortunes since her moment of glory in Beijing when herself, Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson the joint silver medallists who with the Games first ever clean sweep in the event, gave their great American rivals a big bloody nose.

Now Fraser-Price showed when zipping to new Jamaican record and 2012 world lead of 10.70 at her Olympic Trials in June she has re-discovered the magic which saw her in 2009 also add the World Championships to her bulging trophy cabinet.

The 25-year-old, her confidence at an all-time high despite finishing last at the recent London Grand Prix in appalling conditions, is ready to lead the Caribbean nation's crusade backed by 2004 Athens bronze medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown and Stewart who clocked 10.82 and 10.94 at the trials.

Team USA will be led by the second fastest woman of all-time Carmelita Jeter whose armoury fired a blistering shot of 10.64 three years ago and another last summer of 10.70 before going on to win the World Championships crown in Daegu.

Jeter who defeated Campbell-Brown, Trinidad's Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Fraser-Pryce in that encounter has since linked up with renowned sprint coach John Smith became a much more hungrier contestant and will be aiming to taste more glory in London.

With a season's best of 10.81 she is the quickest of the US trio, Allyson Felix and former World Long Jump title holder Tianna Madison having set personal record times of 10.92 and 10.96 in their build up to the Games.

But there are other contenders notably Baptiste whose bronze medal in Daegu was no fluke and who glided to a speedy early season performance of 10.86 behind Jeter at the beginning of May and Blessing Okagbare.

Okagbare who will also compete in the Long Jump where she placed third four years ago has been enjoying the limelight in the final countdown to the Games. Her victory in the wind and rain of London where Jeter and Fraser-Pryce fell by the wayside saw her clock 10.99 in her heat before lowering it a week later to a PB 10.96 with another win in Monaco.

Ivet Lalova fourth in the 2004 final but who then broke her leg the following year in a training accident, is the most fancied European to make final. She did in Daegu but will need to regain sub-11sec pace to make the grade.

David Martin for the IAAF