Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the first woman since 1996 to repeat as Olympic champion in the 100 meters, winning in 10.75 seconds to retain the title of fastest woman on the planet.
For Fraser-Pryce, the win was a comeback of sorts. She was fourth in the world championships in 2011 but, the Olympic title is never one that sprinters want to give up easily. Gail Devers, who repeated in 1992 and 1996, and Wyomia Tyus, who won in 1964 and 1968, are the only other woman to repeat as Olympic 100-meter champion.
American Carmelita Jeter won the silver, with Jamaican Veronica Campbell Brown taking the bronze.
The race was the first of what will be a series of showdowns in the sprints between the U.S. and Jamaica. Jamaican women dominated in 2008, sweeping, winning five of the six medals in the 100 and 200 meter races.
Last night’s night’s 100-meter final looked like a dual meet between the Jamaicans and the Americans with three guests thrown into the mix for the sake of diversity.
For Jeter, the race was a chance to solidify her position as the world’s fastest woman. She won the World Championships last year in South Korea. Jeter is a powerful runner who uses her strength to drive her down the track. Now 30, Jeter has managed to get faster as she has gotten older, defying the usual decline of a sprinter.
But Jeter was a split second slow out of the blocks and nearly caught Fraser-Pryce in the final meters, but the Jamaican leaned across the finish for the victory.