Athletics

Fraser-Pryce shines in Doha

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Getty Images)
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Getty Images)

Doha - Jamaican sprint sensation Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce kicked off the 2014 Diamond League season with a comfortable victory in the women's 100m in Doha on Friday.

After skipping a couple of meets, including the Penn Relays, on medical advice, Fraser-Pryce bounced back to win the 200m at the Kingston Invitational last week and she showed no signs of struggling in the Qatari capital.

After a great start, the "Pocket Rocket", the reigning two-time Olympic sprint champion who also claimed world 100m gold in Moscow last year and world indoor 60m gold in Sopot in March, pulled immediately away from Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare.

The Jamaican crossed the line in 11.13 seconds, an eye fixed on the big screen as Okagbare made a late surge for the line to finish second in 11.18sec.

Algeria's surprise Olympic champion in London, Taoufik Makhloufi, after sitting out most of last season and since changing coach, had to be happy with fourth in a fantastic men's 1500m, won in commanding style by Kenya's 2008 Olympic champion and defending double world champ Asbel Kiprop in 3:29.18.

The two pace-makers stretched the field out early with an electrifying pace through the first three laps, world indoor champ Ayanleh Suleiman of Djibouti leading as the bell went.

Kiprop moved on to his shoulder with 200m to run, and then accelerated away in the last 40 metres of a 54sec final lap, Makhloufi finishing fourth in a personal best behind Kenyan Silas Kiplagat and Suleiman in a national record.

Such was the depth in the field, Aman Wote set an Ethiopian national record finishing sixth in 3:30.86.

World champion Eunice Sum of Kenya racked up a similarly impressive victory in the women's 800m in 1:59.33, while the men's event was claimed by Ethiopian world champion Mohammed Aman in 1:44.49.

One Olympic champion who also had no problems was American LaShawn Merritt, who equalled his own world lead of 44.44sec in winning the 400m at the Qatar Sports Club.

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