The women’s 100 metres does not have the aura of the men’s short dash. Yet, it is one of the most talked-about, awaited events in an Olympic Games or a World championships.
The fastest woman’s tag among the current batch of sprinters belongs to American Carmelita Jeter.
She ran a stunning 10.64s in Shanghai in 2009, becoming the second fastest ever behind the late Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49s) who died young.
Jeter is the reigning world champion.
She beat the field quite convincingly in Daegu last year, clocking 10.90, with Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown coming second and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the Olympic champion from Jamaica, taking fourth.
Fraser-Pryce is the fastest this season, with a blistering 10.70s in the Jamaican National championships in Kingston on June 29.
That was an Area record as well for the 25-year-old Olympic champion.
That timing also happened to be joint seventh on the all-time list.
Only Jeter, dope-tainted American Marion Jones and Flo Jo have run faster.
Obviously, Fraser-Pryce is back in the hunt for the 100 gold after having faded to fourth last year in the World championships.
One cannot discount Jeter, who at 32 could be finding it tough to match the younger girls. But there was no indication of that in Daegu.
Jeter has a career record of 8-6 against Fraser-Pryce, but in the only 100 clash these two had this season, in New York Diamond League meeting on June 9, the Jamaican prevailed over the world champion, 10.92s to 11.05 (third), with American Tiana Maddison, the No. 2 American, taking the second place.
Veronica Campbell, comprehensively beaten by Fraser-Pryce in Kingston in both 100 and 200, is an experienced sprinter who has a career record of 17-8 over Fraser-Pryce. She is, however, better rated in the 200.
The others in contention in the women’s 100 final, scheduled to be run on August 4, could be American Allyson Felix who had a tie with Jenoba Tarmoh for the third place in the US trials, and Trinidad’s Kelly Ann-Baptiste (season best 10.86s), who took the bronze in Daegu.
Felix is more a 200-400 specialist than a 100m dasher.