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17 Aug 2008
Beijing 2008

Fraser leads unique Jamaican treble

Shelley-Ann Fraser

Beijing was still gasping at the exploits of Usain Bolt when the women’s 100m final came around at the Bird’s Nest stadium.

The man who had put Jamaican sprinting firmly on the map with his electrifying world record and show of bravado was the talk of the Games, yet he was just the pinnacle of an outstanding. Jamaican team that would sweep all the sprinting gold medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
The Jamaican trio of Shelley-Ann Fraser, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart were not recording the astonishing times, nor displaying the showmanship of Bolt, but they were still proving themselves to be sprinters supreme.

They all did the minimum in their opening heats to qualify, but then imposed themselves in the second round of heats by clocking the top three times to move through to the semi-finals.
The principal threat, unsurprisingly, came from the Americans through Lauryn Williams and Muna Lee, who were only marginally slower in the second round.

Three Jamaicans and three Americans qualified for the final, to be staged 24 hours after Bolt had stunned the world with his new world record mark of 9.69secs.

After the slightest hint of a false start, the final got under way and Fraser, with her characteristic driving, smooth-headed running style, quickly emerged from the pack and established an unassailable lead.

As she crossed the line in a personal best of 10.78secs, she punched the air with delight and danced a jig of sheer disbelief.

Jamaica had never won an Olympic sprint gold before and now they had won two in two days. In addition, Simpson and Stewart proved inseparable in second and both were awarded silver.
It was the first time since 1912 that one nation had scooped all the medals in the women’s blue riband sprint.
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