By Steve Keating
DOHA (Reuters) – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led a Jamaican charge into the world championship 100 metres final on Sunday, putting the sprinting powerhouse in position for a podium sweep.
Fraser-Pryce, swapping the yellow dyed locks she sported in the opening round for a multi-coloured coif, was again the clear favourite storming across the line in 10.81 seconds as she bids to become the first person to win four 100m world titles.
She will be joined in the final by team mates Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and Jonielle Smith leaving Jamaica in a chance of medal sweep later on Sunday.
The Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, world silver medallist at 100m and 200m in London two years ago and Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith could throw a wrench into Jamaican party plans both cruising home first in their respective heats in 10.87.
Thompson, taking a cue from Fraser-Pryce went for metallic pink hair for her semi-final, has not looked sharp through the opening rounds coming home second behind Ta Lou in 11 seconds.
European champion Asher-Smith made history by becoming the first British woman to reach a world championship 100m final but will now look for a little bit more by taking home a medal.
Once again the world’s best athletes performed in front of a shockingly sparse crowd at the 40,000 Khalifa Stadium.
With the upper sections of the stadium covered in signage and only the lower bowl open for spectators there were still more empty seats than occupied ones even on a night when five gold medals were on offer, including the showcase women’s 100m.
(Editing by Christian Radnedge)