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Only one woman in history has run a faster women’s 100-meter than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce did on Saturday: Florence Griffith Joyner.
Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce became the second-fastest woman ever with a magnificent 10.63 at a meet in Kingston on Saturday, blowing away her competition and obliterating the national record of 10.70 she shared with Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the 100 gold at the 2016 Olympics.
Fraser-Pryce’s 10.63 is the fourth-fastest time ever recorded, and the fastest any woman has run the 100 since Flo-Jo ran the three fastest times ever in 1988 (10.49, 10.61 and 10.62).
Fraser-Pryce’s eye-popping result on Saturday upends expectations heading into the Tokyo Olympics next month. According to NBC Sports, the 100 favorite had been 21-year-old American Sha’Carri Richardson. This spring she’s had times of 10.72, 10.74, and 10.77, none of which come close to Fraser-Pryce’s time on Saturday. Thompson-Herah had been just behind Richardson with a 10.78, and Fraser-Pryce had been behind both of them with a 10.84 — until now.
Now Fraser-Pryce, who already has two Olympic gold medals in the 100 from 2008 and 2012, appears the be the favorite. The 34-year-old, who came back from having a baby to win the 2019 World Championships, would be the oldest woman to win an individual Olympic sprint title, and the first woman ever to win three Olympic golds in a single track and field discipline.