Twice Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce streaked to victory in the Diamond League women’s 100 metres final on Thursday with a time of 10.93 seconds against a head wind on a cold, blustery evening.
The 28-year-old Jamaican, who dyed her hair green for her successful world title defence in Beijing last month before reverting to black during a two-hour visit to a Zurich hairdresser yesterday, picked up $40,000 for winning the Diamond League Trophy in her event.
Sixteen finals were staged today at a meeting which featured 20 individual gold medalists from Beijing. The remaining 16 events will be decided in Brussels on September 11.
“There is no more to ask, I won the world championships and the Diamond race,” said Fraser-Pryce. “I was eager to come back on the track after Beijing and I just enjoy this meeting.”
Fraser-Pryce completed the night by anchoring the Jamaican team to a meeting record of 41.60 seconds in the women’s 4×100 metres relay.
Britain’s Greg Rutherford, who added the world men’s long jump title to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth gold medals in Beijing, showed his competitive grit after a long season to win on a countback from American Marquis Dendy and clinch the Diamond League trophy. Both men leaped 8.32 metres.
“It was very important to come out here to win again,” Rutherford said. “I am absolutely over the moon, I won the world championships and I won the Diamond race. It is the last crown for me.”
Former Olympic champion American LaShawn Merritt won the men’s 400 metres in a race which finished with the Beijing medalists again taking the top three places but this time in a different order.
The 2011 world champion Kirani James of Grenada, who finished third in Beijing, was second and South Africa’s surprise world champion Wayde van Niekerk was third.
James’s second place was enough to give him the Diamond League Trophy for his event.
“I am very tired now but I’m nothing but thankful to these guys,” James said. “Merritt was great tonight.”
Beijing bronze medalist Eunice Sum of Kenya surged to the front in the final 50 metres to win the women’s 800 metres in 1:59.14 from Britain’s Lynsey Sharp and pick up the trophy for her event.
Sum, who lost her world title to Maryna Arzamasova of Belarus when she finished third in China, said: “This race really meant a lot to me after Beijing. I didn’t feel well there but I still made the final.”
Another Kenyan, Asbel Kiprop, winner of the last three world 1,500 metres titles, got the victory he needed to confirm his $40,000 prize.
Qatar’s world indoor high jump champion Mutaz Barshim, who finished out of the medals in Beijing, won the men’s event in Zurich ahead of his close rival Bodhan Bondarenko of Ukraine, the world bronze medalist, with a height of 2.32 metres.