Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce emulated her superstar compatriot Usain Bolt in reclaiming her world 100m title at the World Athletics Championships on Monday in front of another disappointing crowd.
The 26-year-old — like Bolt a two-time Olympic champion — produced a stunning display to make up for her fourth place two years ago and add this title to the one she won in 2009 and repeat Bolt’s feat of Sunday in winning back the title.
While she added another gold to her burgeoning collection, the US’ David Oliver climbed onto the top step of the podium for the first time after years of disappointment as he took the 110m hurdles title.
However, it came at a cost as his outstanding performance — he destroyed a world-class field, including defending champion Jason Richardson and Olympic champion and world record-holder Aries Merritt — had his mum sobbing in the stands.
There were tears of joy too from Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu, who produced one of her traditional late surges and a decisive dip on the line to regain the women’s 400m title she won in 2007 at the expense of defending champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana.
Ohuruogu, who is the British team captain and had urged the team to “burn their ships” in their efforts to win medals, was overcome with emotion at the medal ceremony.
Her gold partly made up for the disappointment of taking silver at the Olympics in London last year, which took place in the same area of the city where she lives.
New Zealand’s Valerie Adams too experienced the euphoria of victory a year after Olympic silver — though she later got gold after the winner failed a dope test — as she won a record fourth world shot put title.
However, there was to be no world title to go with his Olympic gold for France’s Renaud Lavillenie as he had to make do with silver behind Germany’s rising star Raphael Holzdeppe.
It was Fraser-Pryce, though, who produced the most eye-catching performance, as she burst from the blocks and streaked home ahead of Africa’s first ever 100m world medalist Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast.
Ahoure, whose nickname is “the female Didier Drogba” after the country’s legendary soccer player, edged out defending champion Carmelita Jeter of the US for silver.
Fraser-Pryce’s victory was no less impressive in that she revealed she had been in pain for part of the race.
“I had my obstacles — I was starting to feel pain under my left butt cheek,” said Fraser-Pryce, who sported pink hair to go with her pink spikes and pink fingernail varnish.
Oliver, whose best previous championship performance was bronze in the 2008 Olympics, sank to his knees after crossing the line as the moment sank in, but his reaction was nothing compared with his mother’s.
“My Mum cried, she’s so happy, she had tears streaming down her face and almost made me cry,” the 31-year-old said.
Ohuruogu, who broke a 29-year-old national record, was overwhelmed at what she had done.
“I think I’m going to pass out, when I think this is a national record it’s great,” she said. “A national record has cemented my 400m reign. It’s been such a long three days and I told my coach I thought I was going mad. Now I am going to celebrate with my sister.”
Adams may not have had family in the crowd but she was overjoyed at her record title coming on her coach Jean-Pierre Egger’s 70th birthday — so much so that at the medal ceremony she held her hands out with “happy birthday JP” written in pen on them.
“This was a birthday present for my coach,” she said. “I think my record win is good for women’s sport as a whole.”