Carmelita Jeter was arguably the most impressive winner as action concluded on day two at the seventh and final edition of the IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final here in Thessaloniki.
The American champion who at 29 years of age has experienced the strongest season of her career improved on her 10.83 personal best set when winning the Berlin World Championships semi-final to a mind blogging 10.67, the third fastest of all time and the fastest 100m clocking in no fewer than 12 years!
Jeter won her second WAF title, after her 2007 win over Allyson Felix in Stuttgart, in superb fashion defeating the two women who had preceded her in the World Championships final last month.
Drawn in lane four with World and Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser on her outside, Jeter stormed out of the blocks leaving Fraser, the woman who has a blistering start as her worldwide known trademark in her wake. To see Jeter ahead of Fraser from the start, that was something we certainly didn’t expect.
Jeter picked up from her fantastic start executing a near-to-perfection transition phase which saw her well in the lead as early as 30 metres into the race. Lifting her knees high and working hard on her arms movement, the Osaka World bronze medallist was extremely impressive once she reached her cruising speed at 60 metres carrying her momentum all the way through the finish line and beyond.
She quickly looked to her left where Fraser and World silver medallist Kerron Stewart were neck and neck for a distant second before crossing the line and looking to the clock that read 10.68 – later rounded down by one hundredth.
It took Jeter some time to actually resume her poise as she knelt down in disbelief, got back up and put her hands to her mouth, knelt down again and shed a tear at the realisation of her performance.
“When I saw the clock, I was in shock and in tears,” she revealed. “When I got into the race and the gun went off I didn’t think; I just ran to the line. Everything felt slow and when my coach says that it feels slow it’s actually fast. So when I saw the clock I could not believe it because I felt like I was running 10.9.”
The Los Angeles based athlete who is coached since last November by John Smith at UCLA improved by three tenths in one year; after her bronze medal performance in Berlin she has been undefeated scoring convincing wins in Zurich, Gateshead and Brussels.
Fraser once again prevailed over Stewart 10.89 to 10.90 albeit this time it was for second place that the Jamaicans 4x100m World champions were duelling for.
There will be more to come from Jeter who will compete in Shanghai and Daegu before flying back home on September 26th.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF