Speed to thrill – Gateshead Diamond League showdown set to feature three of six fastest women in history

By Sports Desk May 20, 2021

The blockbuster women’s 100m clash scheduled for this Sunday, at the Müller Grand Prix Diamond League meet, in Gateshead, will feature three of the six fastest women ever to run over the distance.

In what many predict could be a preview to the Olympic Games later this summer, Jamaican speed queens Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah will finally face red-hot American Sha'Carri Richardson, the early-season favourite, for the first time this year.

Historically, as far as the speed record book is concerned, the early season clash could be one of mammoth proportions.  The trio are not only three of the six fastest women alive, but also the only ones still active on the all-time speed list.

Fraser-Pryce holds the fourth-fastest time ever recorded over the distance at 10.70, set in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2012.  Her compatriot, Thompson-Herah, matched that identical time, at the same venue, in 2016 and is joint-fourth on the list.  Richardson joined the exclusive list last month with her clocking of 10.72, recorded in Florida, making her the sixth-fastest of all time.

The times are only bettered by Marion Jones (10.65), Carmelita Jeter (10.64), and Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), a trio of American sprinters who are no longer active.

Richardson has of course set the season marker with her burst of speed last month, but Thompson-Herah is not far behind having registered 10.78 in Clermont.

The trio are, however, not the only big names in the field with Great Britain’s fastest woman Dina Asher-Smith and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare also set to face the starter.  Another Jamaican, who will also line up in the blocks, Natasha Morrison, is also in fine form this season having recorded the third-fastest time, 10.87, last month in Florida.

In addition to just the times, there will be plenty of pedigree on display, between them Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah have claimed 7 of the last 9 major games 100m Olympics and World Championship titles.  The only exceptions to that dominance being the 2011 World Championships, which was won by Jeter, and the 2017 World Championships, which was won by another American Torrie Bowie.

Also scheduled to take part in the meet are world long jump champion Tajay Gayle, world triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts, and world shot put silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd.

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