Rio 2016 Olympics
Fraser Pryce is aiming for an unprecedented triple-triple in Rio. Photo Credit: Making of Champions/PaV media

Defending Champion in the women’s 100m, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce set the ball rolling on her quest to become the first woman in history to win three consecutive Olympic titles in her event, clocking the fastest time overall of 10.96s in the heats on Day 1 of Track Field at the ongoing Games in Rio.

There had been concerns regarding the ability of the two-time 100m Olympic Champion to successfully retain the titles she won in Beijing and London, due to a nagging toe injury that was taking too long to heal. However, Fraser-Pryce put those concerns to rest as she coasted home with an impressive time of 10.96s – the fastest overall in the heats, to win Heat 4.

Cote dÍvoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou who had beaten the Jamaican in their last meeting at the London Diamond League, followed closely in 11.01s, as Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji and Narcisa Landazuri of Ecuador also qualified for the semis in 11.19s and 11.38s respectively.

In other races, Great Britain’s Desiree Henry (11.08s) won Heat 1 ahead of African Record holder Murielle Ahouré (11.17s), with Natalia Pohrebniak of Ukraine finishing 3rd and qualifying for the semis in 11.30s.

European Champion Dafne Schippers was the woman to beat in Heat 2, clocking a time of 11.16s, while Germany’s Tatjana Pinto placed 2nd in 11.31s. Ghana’s Flings Owusu-Agyapong finished 4th in the race with a time of 11.43s, as Nigeria’s Gloria Asumnu (11.55s) followed in 5th.

It was a 1-2 for USA’s Tori Bowie and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare in Heat 3 of the women’s 100m, with both athletes posting 11.13s and 11.16s. Also qualifying for the semis was Ecuador’s Ángela Tenorio (11.35s).

Tianna Bartoletta (11.23s), Ewa Swoboda (11.24s) and Olesya Povkh (11.39s) advanced to the semis from Heat 5, with Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste (11.42s) narrowly missing out in 4th place, while Nigeria’s Jennifer Madu (11.61s) finished 5th.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye (11.00s), World Leader Elaine Thompson (11.21s), and World No.2 English Gardner (11.09s) won Heats 6, 7 and 8 respectively.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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