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Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce clocked the fastest time to reach the women’s 100 metres final on Saturday and stay on course to become the first woman to win a single individual Olympic athletics event three times.

The 34-year-old took time away from the sport to have a baby but arrived in Tokyo on the back of an astonishing 10.63 run – the fastest time this year.

Fraser-Pryce, who is looking to add to her 100m victories in 2008 and 2012, was not too far off her top pace in the semifinals at Tokyo’s Olympic stadium, clocking 10.73 despite easing off in the last few yards.

Fellow Jamaican and defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah showed she will not hand the gold medal on a platter to Fraser-Pryce when the final is held later on Saturday.

Running in the first semifinal, Thompson-Herah blazed ahead of the field early and maintained the big gap to finish with a time of 10.76.

Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the 32-year-old silver medallist at the world championships, was the fastest during Friday’s preliminaries and produced another blistering run of 10.79 to finish top of the second semifinal.

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Swiss Ajla del Ponte qualified behind Thompson-Herah from the first semifinal while Ta Lou was pushed hard by Jamaican Shericka Jackson, who was ruled second in a photo finish.

The field for the semifinals was weakened after Nigerian sprinter and 2008 Olympics long jump silver medallist Blessing Okagbare missed out after failing a doping test.

Okagbare had comfortably won her 100m heat on Friday with a time of 11.05 seconds.

Britain’s Daryll Neita was the slowest of the eight women who will sprint to become the world’s fastest woman and she made it through by one-thousandth of a second. Briton Dina Asher-Smith, the 2019 world championship 100m silver medallist, failed to qualify for the final.

Teahna Daniels was the only one of three Americans to progress from the semifinals.

The post Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce fastest in women’s 100m semis appeared first on Sporting Life.

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