Sha’Carri Richardson, Marie-Josée Ta Lou, Shericka Jackson and defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce all won their 100-meter heats at world championships Sunday to stay on course for a showdown in what could be the most unpredictable final of the nine-day track meet.
Richardson, the American national champion, crossed the finish line in the day’s fastest time, 10.92 seconds. She pretended to flick some sweat off her brow — no big deal, not that anyone expected that in the first round.
Fraser-Pryce, the Jamaican who is seeking to tie a record by winning her sixth world championship in the same event, was slowing down as she crossed the line in 11.01.
All in all, it was a low-drama start to what might be the best race of the meet, and a possible preview of more to come at the Paris Olympics next summer.
Later on Sunday, American Fred Kerley was set to defend his 100-meter title, with Noah Lyles also in the mix. Lyles, a 200 specialist who is running at the shorter distance as well, will be racing next to defending Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs in the semifinals.
Maria Perez opened the day by giving Spain a sweep of the 20-kilometer race walk — her victory in 1 hour, 26 minutes, 51 seconds coming a day after Álvaro Martin won the men’s race.
Other titles being decided Sunday were in women’s long jump, the men’s 10,000 meters, the heptathlon and men’s hammer throw. In that event, Poland’s Paweł Fajdek is also going for a record-tying sixth world title. Fajdek has won the last five worlds but hasn’t finished higher than third in his three Olympics trips.
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