Jamaica’s 2013 IAAF World Athlete of the Year Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce bounced back from her disappointing eighth place over 200m at the at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene at the weekend with a 100m win at the fourth edition of the Galà dei Castelli International meeting in Bellinzona, Switzerland, on Tuesday (3).
The ‘Pocket Rocket’, a triple winner at last year’s IAAF World Championships and the 2014 World Indoor Championships 60m winner, sped to a time of 11.21 in the Italian-speaking region of Canton Ticino, holding off Germany’s 2010 European champion Verena Sailer by 0.04.
Her first European race of the season served as a good warm up for another 100m outing at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday, as she seeks to amass points and defend her Diamond Race title in the event.
“In Eugene my body did not respond. I felt a left leg problem," said a smiling Fraser-Pryce, still slightly jet-lagged. "I have not had a perfect start to the season but it’s not a championship year. I executed the race better than in my previous 100m race in Doha. I enjoyed this meeting and the crowd and I am looking forward to returning next year. I started my career with smaller meetings."
Fraser-Pryce’s training partner Nesta Carter, who clocked an impressive but wind-assisted 9.89 in Eugene, stormed to an easy win in the men’s 100m in 10.23, with his compatriot Rasheed Dwyer second in 10.36.
The Jamaican athletes’ night was completed by world indoor 400m silver medallist Kaliese Spencer who caught up with Germany’s Esther Cremer in the final straight to win over one lap of the track without barriers in 52.06, just three days after setting the fastest time in the world this year in the 400m hurdles when clocking 54.29 in Eugene.
Panama’s Yvette Lewis won the 100m hurdles in 13.06 into a slight headwind of -0.1m/s, after a faster 13.01 in the heats.
Elijah Kiptoo Kipchirchir narrowly missed the stadium record winning the men’s 1500m in 3:35.81, the second fastest time of his career.
Leanmae looks sharp
The men’s javelin proved to be the best of the field events as Estonia’s Tanel Leanmae returned to Bellinzona after finishing second last year and sent his implement out to 81.16m with his fourth attempt to overtake Greece’s Spiridon Lebesis, who had a best throw of 80.64m in the third round
In the women’s 1500m, Italy’s 1500m and 5000m national champion Giulia Viola held off her training partner Margherita Magnani down the final straight to win in 4:10.50.
US runner Molly Ludlow Beckwith took the first place in the women’s 800m in 2:00.99 but emerging local star Selina Buchel, who finished a surprising fourth at the World Indoor Championships in March, was a distant and disappointing sixth in 2:02.84.
The men’s 800m went to Erik Sowinski in 1:46.87.
Greece’s 2013 Mediterranean Games champion Kostadinos Douvalidis clinched the win in the men’s 110 m hurdles in 13.60.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF