Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Report: women's 100m heats – Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Moments after Valerie Adams was dramatically denied making history as the first ever women to win a hat-trick of Olympic titles in an individual event, the next cab off the rank for that particular feat, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, was in action and she remains on track to deliver after leading the qualifiers for Saturday’s semi-finals.

The diminutive Jamaican has not quite yet been at the top of her game so far this season, but as a three-time world champion and two-times Olympic gold medallist she is a formidable competitor and impressively clocked 10.96 to edge Marie Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast by 0.05 to take victory in heat four.

Fraser-Pryce, due in part to her outstanding championship credentials, still remains the favourite for the gold medal in this event but Friday nights heats show there are a raft of women who could potentially challenge in what looks set to be an enthralling battle.   

In the opening heat, Great Britain’s Desiree Henry sprung a slight surprise to overhaul 2013 world silver medallist Murielle Ahoure of the Coast to take the win in 11.08 and triumph by a margin of 0.09.  

As you might expect from the 2015 world 100m silver Dafne Schippers, the Dutchwoman recovered from a steady start to comfortably accelerate past her rivals and take victory in heat two, recording 11.16 and finishing 0.15 clear of Germany’s Tatjana Pinto.

US sprinters chase gold

US is chasing a first Olympic title in this event for 20 years, claimed three heat winners and they all look like potential challengers.

In heat three, 2015 world bronze medallist Tori Bowie ran a solid 11.13 to shade Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare by 0.03.

In heat five, world long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta edged Poland’s fast-starting world junior silver medallist Ewa Swoboda by 0.01 to take the heat win in 11.23.

US completed a full set of heat wins via the 2016 national champion English Gardner, who flew to a 11.09 clocking despite easing down from South Africa’s Carina Horn, who was a distant second in 11.32.   

In heat seven, world number one Elaine Thompson powered through strongly in the latter stages of the race to take the heat win by 0.04 in 11.21 from Brazil’s Rosangela Santos, who received a predictably vociferous support from the crowd.

Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago was an eye-catching winner of heat six, recording 11.00 to finish an emphatic 0.27 clear of the third-string Jamaican Christania Williams.

Steve Landells for the IAAF