The women’s 100 meters at the 2021 Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar, Hungary on Tuesday (6) is expected to be one of the highlighted events at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series meeting which will feature Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah against her countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the multiple world and Olympic champion.
These two world-class sprinters last met a couple of weeks ago at the 2021 Jamaica Olympic Trials with Fraser-Pryce coming out on top in both the 100m and 200m events.
Tuesday’s quick turnaround clash in Hungary will be one of those unique battles between the two former training partners who raced against each other so sparingly outside of global competitions when they shared the same training camps.
Fraser-Pryce enters the clash in Szekesfehervar, in excellent form, having posted 10.71 seconds to win the Jamaica championships title last month, backing up the world-leading 10.63s she clocked in May.
The 34-year-old who is targeting a third Olympic 100m title in Tokyo this summer, following her successes in 2008 and 2012, opened her 100m campaign with a time of 11.62s (-4.2m/s) and 11.51s (-3.1m/s) running into strong headwinds in Gatehead – but has broken 11-seconds in her next five outings and remains undefeated in finals during this stretch.
Meanwhile, Rio 2016 Olympic champion Thompson-Herah heads into the matchup with her Jamaican compatriot aiming to work on her race sharpness after going through a slight setback leading up to the Jamaica championships.
The 29-year-old revealed that she picked up an injury weeks before the national trials which stalled her preparations.
However, after posting three sub-11 seconds times at her Olympic trials last month and finished third to Fraser-Pryce, Thompson-Herah who ran 11.03 (-1.2ms) in Italy on Sunday (4) is now ready to push on in her campaign.
The 100m and 200m champion from Rio has a season’s best of 10.78s and has dipped under the 11-seconds barrier seven times so far this term, including six done in legal wind readings. Her lone wind-assisted performance was a 10.76s clocking (3.6m/s) in Clermont, FL, in May.
Meanwhile, the Jamaican pair will not be the only two sprinters listed in the world-class field.
A third Jamaican, Natasha Morrison who posted a personal best of 10.87s earlier this season, Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who owns a fast wind-aided 10.63 clocking this season, along with 2017 world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou from the Ivory Coast are also set to face the starter.
Adding even further depth to the already high-caliber line-up is American 200m champion Gabby Thomas, who is coming off a superb U.S. Olympic Trials last month.
Thomas who owns a PB of 11.00s, done at her national trials, ended her competition at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, with the No.2 time on the world all-time list over the 200m with her lifetime best of 21.61s.
Swiss sprinter Ajla Del Ponte and Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye will also face the starter’s gun on Tuesday.