Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce produced the second-fastest female 100m sprinter in history with a sensational 10.63 (1.3m/s) run in Kingston, Jamaica, on Saturday (5).
Racing at the aptly-named JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series meeting, Jamaica’s two-time Olympic and nine-time world gold medallist further proved her intention to add another title to that tally in Tokyo later this year. Powering out of the blocks, the 34-year-old made it look easy as she hit top speed and surged away from her rivals to run hard through the line before clapping and raising her arms in celebration.
The fastest time in almost 33 years, only Florence Griffith Joyner has ever gone quicker with her world record of 10.49 and runs of 10.61 and 10.62, also achieved in 1988.
“When the hard work finally pays off!” Fraser-Pryce wrote on social media after the race. “So much accomplished, yet so much more to go.”
Behind Fraser-Pryce was Natasha Morrison who finished second in 10.95.
The competition was Fraser-Pryce’s third this season and it followed the 10.84 she ran to win at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha as she works towards Tokyo, where she will aim for a third Olympic gold after her 100m wins in 2008 and 2012. Her incredible CV also includes four 100m titles as part of her world championships haul, with her most recent claimed in Doha in 2019 following the birth of her son Zyon in 2017, with Fraser-Pryce having gone into labour while watching the world 100m final that year.
The day before the race in Kingston, she had posted an update on social media which read: “‘Mommy’ is the best title I could have ever earned.”
Fraser-Pryce’s previous best had been 10.70 from 2012, a Jamaican record time which Elaine Thompson-Herah equalled in 2016.
Her performance at the Olympic Destiny Series meeting launches her to the top of the world rankings ahead of the USA’s Sha’Carri Richardson, who ran 10.72 in April, and Thompson-Herah, who clocked 10.78 at the start of May.
Also in Kingston, world champion Tajay Gayle jumped a wind-assisted 8.56m (2.5m/s) to win the long jump, while O’Dayne Richards won the shot put with a 19.49m throw.
Others to triumph included Janieve Russell in the 400m hurdles (54.88) and Stephenie Ann McPherson in the 400m (51.06).
India crowned champions of inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup
Titas Sadhu, Archana Devi and Parshavi Chopra took two scalps each while Gongadi Trisha and Soumya Tiwari made useful scores as India Under-19 scripted a memorable seven wicket win over England Under-19 to seal the inaugural Women’s Under-19 World Cup in Potchefstroom. India U19 chased down the paltry target of 69 in the 14th over.
England U19 68 in 17.1 overs (Ryana Macdonald Gay 19; Titas Sadhu 2-6) lost to India U19 69/3 in 14 overs (Soumya Tiwari 24*; Alexa Stonehouse 1-8) by seven wickets
ICC names all-woman panel of match officials for 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup
The upcoming women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa will have an all-woman line-up of match officials, in what will be a landmark first in the game.On Friday, the ICC announced the panel of three match referees and ten umpires, featuring officials from seven countries. The match referees are GS Lakshmi (India), Shandre Fritz (South Africa) and Michell Pereira (Sri Lanka). The on-field and TV umpires will be Sue Redfern (England), Eloise Sheridan (Australia), Claire Polosak (Australia), Jacqueline Williams (West Indies), Kim Cotton (new Zealand), Lauren Agenbag (South Africa), Anna Harris (England), Vrinda Rathi (India), N Janani (India) and Nimali Perera (Sri Lanka).
Selecting this panel was part of the governing body’s “strategic ambition of advancing the involvement and visibility of women in cricket,” an ICC statement said.
The panel will also have the most number of women umpires and match referees in a global ICC tournament, four more than the nine who are at the ongoing women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup.
“Women’s cricket has been growing rapidly in recent years and as part of that, we have been building the pathways to ensure more women have the opportunity to officiate at the highest level,” Wasim Khan, ICC’s general manager of cricket, said. “This announcement is a reflection of our intent in this space and just the start of our journey where men and women enjoy the same opportunities across our sport.
“We are committed to continuing to support our female match officials and provide opportunities to showcase their talents on the global stage. I wish them all the best for the tournament.”
The eighth edition of the women’s T20 World Cup begins with hosts South Africa facing Sri Lanka on February 10. Defending champions Australia are in Group A with Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Arica. Group B has England, India, Ireland, Pakistan and West Indies. The top two teams from each group will move into the semi-finals.The matches will be played in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Paarl with the final scheduled for February 26 at Newlands.
ACC to meet in Bahrain on Feb 4, call on Asia Cup expected
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will meet in Bahrain on February 4. A decision on the Asia Cup is expected at the much-awaited meeting where the representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be present. It could be a stormy affair in the Persian Gulf city of Bahrain, with the two boards having been at loggerheads.
The hosting right of the upcoming Asia Cup, which will be an ODI championship among the continental sides, has been a bone of contention, with the BCCI and the PCB being at odds over the venue. The August-September championship was allotted to the PCB but in view of political tension between India and Pakistan, the BCCI had declared that the Indian team will not be in a position to travel to Pakistan.
The BCCI’s refusal was initially escalated by former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja who threatened to boycott the World Cup in India later in the year. A similar stand seems to have also been taken by Najam Sethi, who succeeded Raja, but there seems little support from other ACC members to the PCB position.
The BCCI and the PCB sparred recently after Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary and ACC president, announced the schedule of the council. It was responded with sarcasm by Sethi who said in a social media post, “Thank you @JayShah for unilaterally presenting @ACCMedia1 structure & calendars 2023-24 especially relating to Asia Cup 2023 for which Pakistan is the event host. While you are at it, you might as well present structure & calendar of our PSL 2023! A swift response will be appreciated (sic).”
The PCB chairman’s comments were rejected by ACC which declared that Shah’s post was not unilateral. “It has come to our knowledge that PCB Chairman Mr Najam Sethi has made a comment on the ACC President unilaterally taking the decision on finalising the calendar and announcing the same. The ACC wants to clarify that it has followed well established and due process. The calendar was approved by its Development Committee and Finance & Marketing Committee in a meeting held on December 13th, 2022.
“The calendar was then communicated to all the participating members individually, including Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), via an email dated December 22nd, 2022. While responses were received from certain Member Boards, no comments or suggested modifications were received from PCB. In view of the above, Mr Sethi’s comments on a social media platform are baseless and are vehemently denied by the ACC,” the ACC said backing Shah’s position.
With the meeting in Bahrain happening in such a backdrop, it could be a stormy affair. A BCCI official, who was in Mumbai for the unveiling of Women’s Premier League teams, confirmed a final decision on the Asia Cup will be taken in Bahrain on February 4.
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