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Fraser leads Jamaican 100-metre sweep

Latest update : 2008-08-19

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser won the women's 100-metre gold with a time of 10.78 seconds. She led an all-Jamaican podium ahead of Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, both awarded silver after a photo finish failed to separate them.

Shelly-Ann Fraser surged to Jamaica's first Olympic women's 100 metres gold medal on Sunday and led compatriots Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart to the event's first national podium sweep.

 

A day after Usain Bolt claimed a first men's 100m crown for the Caribbean island, 21-year-old Fraser clocked 10.78 seconds to win the title ahead of her compatriots, who were both awarded silver after a photo finish failed to separate them.

 

USA Track & Field appealed against the result after American Torri Edwards said she thought she had false-started but it was rejected by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

 

"I can't believe I actually won. Nobody expected me to win, so there was no pressure," Fraser told reporters.

 

"I'm so excited, I really am, I can't wait to get home."

 

Simpson and Stewart were given the same time of 10.98 ahead of former world champion Lauryn Williams, the first of a trio of Americans in the race that had been billed as U.S. v Jamaica.

 

"It's wonderful, the first three for Jamaica. History," Simpson said. "To be silver medallist, I'm really happy, it was a challenging time coming to these Olympics."

 
EQUALLY DELIGHTED
 

Stewart was also happy to be part of an achievement that had eluded Jamaican sprinters such as multiple Olympic medallist Merlene Ottey.

 

"It's about time, we've been waiting for this, so many great athletes have come so close and we were able to pull it off tonight," Stewart, who like Simpson is 24, said.

 

American Muna Lee, who won the U.S. trials, was fifth and thought one of her rivals had got away early.

 

"Man, I swear somebody jumped, someone got out before the gun," she said. "I've never had a bad start like that, ever."

 

Former world champion Edwards, the fastest woman in the world this year, finished last.

 

"I think I moved a bit there at the start, and I thought they would call it," the 31-year-old said. "I think I false-started, I moved a little bit, my foot.

 

The start did look a bit ragged and Simpson made the early running on the inside before Fraser came charging down lane four, and punched the air as she crossed the line.

 

"About 50 metres out, I glimpsed to the sides and smiled, then I powered through the line," said Fraser, whose time was a personal best.

 

Simpson could have clinched the silver on her own if she had dipped for the line and Stewart's lean forward made the pair inseparable after a several minutes of examination by officials.

 

For Fraser, the youngest member of the trio who kept world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown out of the event in Beijing, it was a first major title.

 

Defending champion Yuliya Nestsiarenka of Belarus failed to reach the final after finishing fifth in her semi-final.

 

The medal ceremony was put back to Monday because of the appeal.

Date created : 2008-08-17

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