LONDON (Reuters) - Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s post-pregnancy climb back to the top of women’s sprinting took another significant step on Saturday when she dipped under 11 seconds for the first time this season to win the London Diamond League 100 meters.
The 31-year-old double Olympic and triple world champion over the distance gave birth to her first child last August and has vowed to get back into the medal mix.
“I’m so excited, that is so good,” said the Jamaican. “I took the time off, I didn’t pay any attention to what others said about my comeback.
“I continued to work hard and London is definitely the best place and to come here and win, with my first sub-11, is fantastic,” added the Jamaican, who won her second Olympic gold and a 200m silver at the stadium in 2012.
“I’m used to sacrificing and making sure that my path is right. Being a mother is my first priority and to come back and be flexible with my training is wonderful and I’m so excited about next year now.”
American Dezerea Bryant took second in 11.04 ahead of Jamaica’s Jonielle Smith, who ran an 11.07 personal best.
Season leader Marie-Josee Ta Lou, her Ivory Coast team mate Murielle Ahoure and Jamaican Elaine Thompson all opted to run the 100m in the Monaco Diamond League on Friday night.
American Ronnie Baker took a close men’s 100m in 9.90, holding off fast-finishing Briton Zharnel Hughes (9.93) and South African Commonwealth Games winner Akani Simbine (9.94).
“I knew this was a fast track and I felt fast today,” said Baker after a race where six men broke 10 seconds. “Two 9.90s today (his heat time) and I know consistency means that a drop in time is coming. Hopefully I can take that world lead and better it. There is a lot of competition.”
World indoor 60m champion Christian Coleman had been due to race but aggravated a hamstring injury while warming up for his heat and was forced to withdraw.
Norwegian world champion Karsten Warholm claimed another national record of 47.65 in winning the 400m hurdles.
He took full advantage of the rare absence of Abderrahman Samba, winner of all six of his Diamond League races in the event this season, who opted for a run over the flat where a personal best of 44.62 was good enough only for fifth in a rapid race.
It was his Qatari team mate Abdalleleh Haroun who won it in a national record 44.07, ahead of American Paul Dedweo, who ran a personal best 44.43.
The meeting continues on Sunday where the men’s and women’s 200m will be the main attraction.
Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Christian Radnedge