Kirani James of Grenada

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, Sporting Alert – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Kirani James start their quest to defend their respective sprint titles at Rio 2016 in the evening session on Friday’s first day of competition.

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Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce will go in search of her third successive 100m Olympic title when she goes in heat four of the women’s event.

The Beijing and London champion will go up against one of the event’s medal contenders, Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.

The 29-year-old is seeking to become the first woman in Olympic history to win three consecutive 100m titles.

World leader Elaine Thompson, who defeated Fraser-Pryce at the Jamaica Championships last month, will start in the seventh heat, with Olga Safronova of Kazakhstan and Semoy Hackett of Trinidad & Tobago also starting in that heat.

Elsewhere, European champion and strong gold medal contender, Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands will go in the second heat of the event, while American champion English Gardner start in the eighth and final heat.

USA’s Tori Bowie and Tianna Bartoletta and Ivory Coasts African champion Murielle Ahouré, who have all gone under 10.80-seconds this season, will also start in the event.

Jamaica’s Christania Williams, Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad & Tobago and Nigeria’s
Blessing Okagbare will also go in the heats of the women’s 100m dash.

Meanwhile, in the men’s 400m, Kirani James of Grenada will start the defence of his one lap crown from lane six of the sixth heat.

James, who won the title in London four-years-ago, will begin his quest from a very strong heat which includes American David Verburg, Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald and Matthew Hudson-Smith of Great Britain.

World leader and one of the gold medal favourite LaShawn Merritt of USA will be in Heat 5, world champion Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa and Jamaican champion Javon Francis will race in the third heat, while Bralon Taplin of Grenada starts in heat two, and London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Luguelín Santos of Dominica Republic starts in the third heat.

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