fb-pixel Skip to main content
world track notebook

Sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a 35-year-old mother, wins fifth world title

Gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (center), silver medalist Shericka Jackson (right), and bronze medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah celebrate Jamaica's sweep in the women's 100.Hannah Peters/Getty Images for World Athletics

EUGENE, Ore. — Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sped her way back to the top of the sprint game Sunday, winning her fifth world title in the women’s 100 meters by leading a Jamaican sweep and knocking off Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce, mother of a 4-year-old son, Zyon, led all the way and crossed the line in 10.67 seconds. She beat Shericka Jackson by 0.06 seconds while Thompson-Herah finished a surprising third in 10.81.

A night that started with thoughts that Thompson-Herah might knock off Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 34-year-old world record of 10.49 closed instead with Fraser-Pryce setting a world championships record. Marion Jones set the old mark of 10.70 in 1999.


With her blonde and green-tinted hair waving in the breeze as she jogged through her victory lap, stopping to take pictures with fans that cheered her as loudly as anyone Sunday, Fraser-Pryce was all smiles — a different reaction than last year in Tokyo, when she finished second by a sizable 0.13.

“I went back home and I worked and I worked and I came out here, and I had the success,” a beaming Fraser-Pryce said in her on-track interview.

She’ll add it to titles she won in 2009, ‘13, ‘15, and ‘19. She also won the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.

A night after the United States swept the podium in the men’s 100, Fraser-Pryce and Co., showed there’s still plenty of speed down on the island.

Usain Bolt won three world titles at 100 meters over his decade of dominance. Fraser-Pryce now has five over a span that dates to 2009 in Berlin, the worlds at which Bolt set the men’s 100 record of 9.58 that still stands. Fraser-Pryce was 22 then.

In Eugene, she defended her title from 2019, a win that came not long after she had her baby. She called that “a victory for motherhood.”


Zyon is about the same age as Allyson Felix’s daughter, Cammy, and though Fraser-Pryce was never as outspoken as Felix about the challenges facing moms, she told the story of sitting on her bed and crying the day she learned she was pregnant. People suggested her career was over.

Not by a long shot.

Since having Zyon she has won two world titles and lowered her personal best to 10.6 — putting her alongside Thompson-Herah and Flo Jo as the only women to have run so fast.

The Jamaican sweep offered a brief break from what’s turning into quite an American show in the first worlds to be contested in the United States.

Minutes before the women’s 100, Grant Holloway and Trey Cunningham finished 1-2 in the 110 hurdles. The race might have been a sweep were it not for a false-start by Oregon receiver-hurdler Devon Allen, who came into the meet ranked second in the world. The red card was met with lusty boos from the crowd and Allen took his time leaving the track, clearly not happy with the call.

Around that time, Ryan Crouser was putting the final touches on America’s 1-2-3 finish in the shot put. It was Crouser’s second straight world title to go with the win at last year’s Olympics. His rival, Joe Kovacs, finished second and teammate Josh Awotunde was third.

Also wrapping up at that time was the 1-2 finish by American pole vaulters Katie Nageotte, who adds this to her title in Tokyo last year, and Sandi Morris, who know has three silver medals from worlds.


By the end of Day 3, the US squad had 14 medals — 11 more than the next-best countries; and six golds.

Americans take gold, bronze in women’s hammer throw

Women’s hammer throwers Brooke Andersen and Janee’ Kassanavoid extended America’s roll on home turf Sunday, taking gold and bronze medals at the world track and field championships a day after the United States’ sweep in the men’s 100 meters at Eugene, Ore.

Andersen, a 26-year-old from California, won the gold medal with a throw of 259 feet, 1/2 inches (78.96 meters) that beat Canada’s Camryn Rogers by more than 11 feet (3.3 meters).

“I was looking out across the field and I thought to myself, ‘I’m a world champion,’ ” Andersen said.

Kassanavoid took bronze to give the US women’s throwers three medals over the first three days of the meet.

A few minutes before the men swept the 100 on Saturday evening, Chase Ealey became the first female American to win the world title in shot put. Sweeping the men’s race were Fred Kerley, Marvin Bracy, and Trayvon Bromell. It was the second 1-2-3 finish in the 100 at worlds for the Americans. Carl Lewis led the other in 1991.

Andersen is the second straight US world champion in hammer throw. DeAnna Price won in 2019 in Qatar.

In the men’s 10,000, world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda defended his world title in 27:27.43. Kenya’s Stanley Mburu (27:27.90) took silver after stumbling and falling to the track early in the first lap.


Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola wins men’s marathon

One moment, Tamirat Tola was right there with the lead pack — shoulder to shoulder and shoe to shoe.

Then, he wasn’t. He left them that quickly. No catching him, either.

Tola led a 1-2 finish by Ethiopia in the men’s marathon, opening a wide lead late in the race and cruising through the finish line.

The 30-year-old Tola finished in a championship-record time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 36 seconds on a fast and flat course that featured plenty of scenic views to soak in. Teammate Mosinet Geremew held on for silver, finishing 68 seconds behind Tola. Bashir Abdi of Belgium captured bronze.

“I tried to prepare myself for a long time” for this, Tola said through an interpreter. “It was my dream.”

Tamirat Tola crosses the finish line to win gold in the men's marathon.Steph Chambers/Getty

Even in dreams, rarely are wins by this convincing of a margin. Tola never glanced back after pulling away.

Well, maybe a few times. But no one was even close to catching up as the 2017 world silver medalist kept building and building on his lead. The previous championship record was 2:06:54, set by Abel Kirui of Kenya at the 2009 world championships in Berlin.

Geremew’s time eclipsed the previous record, too. It was another silver for Geremew, who finished runner-up at worlds in the heat of Doha in 2019.

Defending world champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia tried to keep up but couldn’t maintain the pace. US runner and University of Oregon standout Galen Rupp was in the lead group for much of the race before dropping back and finishing 19th. The 36-year-old Rupp received loud cheers from the fans who lined the course, some of whom followed along while riding bikes.


The real race was for silver, with the 33-year-old Abdi pushing Geremew all the way to the finish before running out of steam. Cameron Levins of Canada was fourth and Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya wound up fifth. Kamworor is rounding back into form after recovering from a broken leg suffered when he was hit by a motorcycle in 2020.

The field was missing Kengo Suzuki after the Japanese team had a few positive tests for COVID-19. Also not racing was Kenyan Lawrence Cherono, who was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit after testing positive for a banned substance.

Worth the wait

For Tebello Ramakongoana of Lesotho, it was quite a journey just to get to the men’s marathon starting line. He arrived in Portland after a roughly 40-hour trip, but his luggage didn’t make it. That included his running gear.

Sandra Cress, who was working the transportation operations desk in Portland for World Athletics, helped him secure socks, leggings, and a pair of Nike shoes.

“It was fun to be able to follow him in the race, and he was easy to pick out as the only runner in white leggings,” Cress wrote in a text.

Ramakongoana finished 35th — and with a great story.

Tebello Ramakongoana stands out in his white leggings in the men's marathon.Steph Chambers/Getty

After a slight delay, 1972 Olympic marathon champion Frank Shorter signaled the start of the race that sent the runners along a three-loop course that finished in front of the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium. The route wound through the cities of Eugene and Springfield.

The course crossed over the Willamette River and ventured alongside Pre’s Trail, the bark running trail that’s named in honor of University of Oregon running icon Steve Prefontaine, who died in a car accident in 1975.