Fraser-Pryce steps up to half-lap event against tough field

By Sports Desk August 17, 2018
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been confirmed to compete in Birmingham on Saturday, the final qualifying meet of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League season. 

Organisers of the IAAF Diamond League finals in Zurich (August 30) and Brussels (August 31) will invite the top-ranked athletes based on points achieved at the 12 qualification meetings.

Fraser-Pryce has been included in a very tough 200m field in Birmingham, her first race over the distance this season.

The 31-year-old is slowly getting back to form after she missed the 2016-2017 season to have her son Zyon.  When last in competition, she finished a disappointing fifth in the women's 100m final at the 2018  North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships in Toronto, Canada.

Fraser-Pryce will face the current top four in the women’s 200m standings – USA’s Jenna Prandini, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas.

Six other Jamaicans, including Yohan Blake and Commonwealth Games champions Janieve Russell, are also listed to compete in Birmingham.

Blake will compete in the men's 100m and will need a few more points to book his place in the finals in Brussels.

Following his wins in Rome, Paris and London, USA’s Ronnie Baker has already guaranteed himself a place in the 100m final and will not compete on Saturday. Michael Rodgers, also of the USA and South Africa’s Akani Simbine, currently equal second in the IAAF Diamond League standings, have also done enough to qualify and both are down to compete on Saturday. The remaining five spots are still open.

Also down to compete on Saturday in the 100m are world indoor champion Christian Coleman and Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain.

Russell and USA's Shamier Little will continue their battle in the women's 400m hurdles and will meet for the second time in a week.

Little produced superlative performances on Sunday, the final day of the third NACAC Championships at Varsity Stadium in Toronto to hold off a strong challenge from Russell to take the 400m hurdles gold medal.

Her winning mark of 53.32 is the second-fastest time in the world this year, her second fastest ever and more than a second quicker than the previous championship record. Russell finished second in 53.81 followed by USA’s Georganne Moline in third with 54.26. All three will face off again and along with Dalilah Muhammad of the USA and Sage Watson of Canada have already earned enough points for a spot in the final in Zurich.

Muhammad is not in the field for Saturday.

The other Jamaicans down to compete in Birmingham are Ronald Levy (men's 110m hurdles), Ta Jay Gayle (men's long jump), Yanique Thompson (women's 100m hurdles) and Tyquendo Tracey, who won the 100m at the NACAC Championships on Saturday.

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