Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce holds the title of the world’s fastest woman and has already won gold in the women’s 100m dash twice at the Olympics. But she’ll need to hold off a serious challenge from one of her teammates if she wants to become the first woman to win the same Olympic track and field event three times.
2016 gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah will duel her fellow Jamaican for the top spot in Tokyo, with several other women also in the mix for the podium in Saturday’s final race.
Fraser-Pryce posts career-best in June
At 34, most sprinters find themselves past their prime, but Fraser-Pryce is experiencing a renaissance that has seen her leap back to favorite status in the 100m for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In June, she ran a career-best 10.63 seconds in the 100m, the second-fastest time ever run by a woman. That figure trails only Florence Griffith-Joyner’s record of 10.49 seconds, set back in 1988.
“I never expected I would run 10.6,” Fraser-Pryce said after her June run. “Because 10.6 has been a dream, a goal, I’ve been working so hard, being so patient to see it finally unfold. I’m so ecstatic.”
That performance made Fraser-Pryce the -125 favorite in the women’s 100m, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
There's a reason her Twitter handle is @FastElaine!
10.71 FTW at @GyulaiMemorial in Szekesfehervar for the Jamaican.
— Continental Tour Gold (@ContiTourGold) July 6, 2021
But Thompson-Herah will have something to say about the gold medal. She proved that just three weeks ago when she beat Fraser-Pryce in the 100m at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Hungary. Thompson-Herah ran a 10.71 to beat out Fraser-Pryce (10.82) in the race.
Thompson-Herah looks to repeat in women’s 100m
That’s not the first time Thompson-Herah has gotten one over on her fellow Jamaican sprinter. Thompson-Herah won gold in Rio in 2016, while Fraser-Pryce settled for bronze in her bid for a women’s 100m threepeat.
That means that Thompson-Herah is actually the defending champion in this event. The 28-year-old Jamaican comes in as the +170 second choice to win gold.
|Olympic Women’s 100m Odds – To Win Gold (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica): -125||Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica): +170|
|Dina Asher-Smith (Great Britain): +600||Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria): +1000|
|Shericka Jackson (Jamaica): +1000||Marie-Josee Ta Lou (Ivory Coast): +1100|
|Javianne Oliver (USA): +5000||Murielle Ahoure (Ivory Coast): +6500|
|Dafne Schippers (Netherlands): +9500||Teahna Daniels (USA): +9500|
Outside of the two Jamaican sprinters, Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (+600) has the best odds of winning gold in the women’s 100m. Asher-Smith rates as the fastest woman in British history and won silver at the world championships in Doha back in 2019.
While her personal best of 10.83 won’t likely be good enough to win gold, Asher-Smith says she has another gear she can find at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m in good shape … and I’m a championship performer,” Asher-Smith said, via The Guardian. “I definitely have faster in me. I’m much, much stronger physically. I’ve been doing over 300 ab exercises in a training session. I’m much more technically proficient too.”
Outside of those top three, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare come in with the best chances in the women’s 100m, with FanDuel posting both at +1000 odds. Jackson ran a personal best of 10.77 earlier this year, and Okagbare has also broken the 10.8 barrier in her career.
Preliminary heats for the women’s 100m begin on July 30, with the final following on July 31.