Two Jamaican Olympic 100m champions, past and present: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, gold medallist in 2008 and 2012; Elaine Thompson, winner of the 100m and 200m in 2016. They stand joint top of this season’s world list with bests of 10.73.
Do we need to look any further for the woman who will take 100m gold at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019? Maybe Dina Asher-Smith would have a view on that…
However it turns out, this is likely to be one of the most fascinating contests of the championships given its mix of proven champions at world and continental levels. Fraser-Pryce, 32, returned to the track in earnest last year after giving birth to a son, and this season she has regained the levels she attained previously, winning at the Lausanne and London IAAF Diamond League meetings.
Thompson, 27, who finished marginally ahead of Fraser-Pryce as they both clocked that 10.73 timing in Kingston on June 21, won at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris last month in 10.98.
But no one sprinter has established dominance so far this season in the 100m, with Britain’s 23-year-old European 100m and 200m champion Asher-Smith finishing the IAAF Diamond League season on a high by taking the 100m title in Brussels in a season’s best of 10.88, ahead of Fraser-Pryce, who clocked 10.95. Thompson was not in that race. In third place was Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, world silver medallist at 100m and 200m in London two years ago, who looks a strong world medal contender again this year.
Her teammate Murielle Ahoure, who has run 10.93 this season and has a best of 10.78, will also be one to watch, especially if she can bring the sharpness she showed in winning the world indoor 60m title last year. Ahoure, 32, already has 100m and 200m world silver medals from 2013.
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare has also had a strong season, finishing fifth in Brussels. There will, of course, be a strong challenge too from the United States, with Tori Bowie returning to defend the title she won in London. She has run 11.09 this season, although she has a best of 10.78. English Gardener has only run 11.16 this season, but she is a class performer who has a best of 10.74. US teammate Teahna Daniels has a clocking of 10.99 to her credit from May 24 in Sacramento.
— Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF