Carmelita Jeter finishes with fastest runnerup time in Olympic history behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price
LONDON – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price had the prize that American Carmelita Jeter wanted. Jeter is the reigning world champion at 100 meters, and is the second-fastest woman in history, but she came to these Games, at the age of 32, fixing to get the biggest bauble of them all.
That would be an Olympic gold medal, and she just might’ve gotten it if Fraser-Price, a 27-year-old Jamaican, hadn’t held her off by the narrowest of margins, defending her Olympic 100-meter title Saturday with a time of 10.75.
Jeter crossed in 10.78, the fastest runnerup time in Olympic history, two rippling, muscled women separated by an inch or two, and the little island of Jamaica remaining the greatest little sprinter paradise on earth. “It was a power-filled final,” Jeter said. “I’m just glad I got to the finish line. That was my best time of the year. I executed my best race. I have a silver medal. I take my hat off to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price.”
The victory makes Fraser-Price the first repeat 100 champion at the Games since Gail Devers won in 1992 and 1996. Devers remains the last American female sprint champion, with Marion Jones having been stripped of her crown in Sydney because of her use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The bronze was won by Veronica Campbell-Brown, who scored her sixth career sprint medal with a time of 10.81 – just ahead of the other two Americans in the field, Tianna Madison, who ran a personal-best 10.85, and Alyson Felix, whose 10.89 clocking also was a personal best. Fraser-Price, Campbell-Brown and Jeter will meet again in the 200. Sunday, Jamaican Usain Bolt aims to defend his title in the 100. “I wouldn’t call Jamaicans greedy but they are expecting a lot from us,” Fraser-Price said. “For us it’s just about staying grounded and focusing on us. We are getting the work done. It’s not about thinking what Jamaica wants.”