Fri | Oct 15, 2021

Shelly catches Merlene

Fraser-Pryce, Ottey now tied on all-time sub-11 clockings list

Published:Friday | September 17, 2021 | 12:11 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
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When evergreen Merlene Ottey clocked the last of the 67 sub-11 seconds 100m races on August 30, 2000, little Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was just 13. That race in Thessaloniki, Greece, entrenched Ottey’s position as the leading producer of times under...

When evergreen Merlene Ottey clocked the last of the 67 sub-11 seconds 100m races on August 30, 2000, little Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was just 13. That race in Thessaloniki, Greece, entrenched Ottey’s position as the leading producer of times under 11.

On September 14, 2021, in Bellinzona, Switzerland, Fraser-Pryce tied with Ottey with a 67th sub-11 of her own.

Her winning time of 10.78 seconds ended a season in which she twice lowered her personal best from 10.70s in 2012 to 10.63s on June 5 at the National Stadium and finally to 10.60s in Lausanne, Switzerland, on August 26.

Data derived from www.alltime-athletics.com revealed that Fraser-Pryce has 42 runs under 10.90s and an unparalleled 22 under 10.80s compared to 23 and four for Ottey.

RECENT EVALUATION

With Fraser-Pryce online for the 2022 World Championship season, more fast times could well be in her future. Ottey ran her fastest time, a then national record of 10.74s, at age 36. Fraser Pryce won’t turn 35 until December 27 this year. In a recent evaluation of whether she should continue to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, JAMALCO Track Club founder Dennis May spoke from his background as an efficiency expert and said, “In her mind, I think she’s at a place where she doesn’t see barriers for herself.”

Ottey’s first sub-11 was Jamaica’s first, a smooth 10.92s at the Mount San Antonio Relays on April 28, 1985, more than a year before Fraser-Pryce was born. Her last one, 10.99s in Thessaloniki, came 15 years later. Fraser-Pryce covered the same ground a little more quickly, with her first sub-11 coming at the 2008 National Championships.

Incidentally, Ottey is still the sole leader in sub-22 200m productivity with 16 clockings under 22 seconds. Fraser Pryce has two.

The pair holds a considerable lead over the third best producer of sub-11 times, Veronica Campbell-Brown, who has 49, with 2016 and 2021 Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah next with 46, with 14 of those under 10.80s.

This latest achievement by Fraser-Pryce is made more remarkable by the small number of sprinters who have broken 11 seconds more than 30 times. In addition to the four Jamaicans, this elite group includes Americans Marion Jones, on 42; Carmelita Jeter, 38; Gwen Torrence, 36; and East German Marlies Göhr on 33. All were world champions over 100m.

Alltime-Athletics lists 66 sub-11 times for Ottey, but most track and field resources speak to 67.

sports@gleanerjm.com