Fraser-Pryce has now won two Olympic and 100m world titles, but she agreed this latest success was “something special”.
“I am really excited that I came here and defended my title,” she said. “It’s about hard work. It’s about training through pain. It’s about sacrifices.” Fraser-Pryce also insisted the flowers in her hair helped her go faster. “I like colours, I like to be bright and bold, so for me it is about being happy and relaxed on the start line,” she said. “Whatever helps me relax in the line helps me.”
Given the focus on previously banned sprinters at these championships, it is only right to acknowledge Fraser-Pryce may have also had some artificial – if apparently accidental – help in the past. In 2010 she served a six-month ban after a urine sample was found to contain the banned narcotic Oxycodone, which she said came from a painkiller for toothache that had been prescribed to her coach. However, Fraser-Pryce also acknowledged that she made a mistake and she was responsible for whatever she put in her body.
Another Jamaican finalist, Veronica Campbell-Brown – who finished fourth in 10.91 – also tested positive for a banned diuretic in 2013 but was later cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Schippers, meanwhile, was delighted at her decision to become a pure sprinter. “It was difficult to choose because I like the heptathlon but I am very happy with a silver,” she said. “I have problems with my knee in the high jump, so when I struggled in Götzis that was the moment when I became a sprinter.”
Britain’s Asha Philip, however, was left frustrated after finishing seventh in the 100m semi-final in 11.21. “I don’t know where I’m going wrong to be honest,” she said. “I’ve learnt quite a lot with my coach Steve Fudge this year and it’s just putting it all together. I’m getting the first bit right better than ever, but I’m just not getting that end bit right. I don’t understand where I’m going wrong or how I’m going to improve it, but next year I think it will work out a lot better.”
But there was better news for Britain in the men’s 400m as Rabah Yousif, 28, ran a lifetime best of 44.54 to secure a place in the final. That was enough to squeeze him through as a fastest qualifier, where he will face the Olympic champion Kirani James, the world champion LaShawn Merritt and Isaac Makwala, who has run the fastest time this year. Not that he appears overly worried.
“I expected myself to go quicker to be honest, but I’ll take this,” said Yousif, who came to Britain as an asylum seeker from Sudan. “Honestly, if you ask some of my team-mates, I was going on about the British record. I am a greedy person. I am never satisfied until I get what I want and I don’t even know what I want.”
When asked if he is confident, he nodded. “I am confident ahead of the final, I am. I am going to declare war now. I am going to chase after a medal.” However Britain’s captain, Martyn Rooney, was unable to show his best form and finished well down the field in his semi-final.
There was a shock in the men’s pole vault as the French world record holder and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie could only take bronze behind the 21-year-old Canadian, Shawn Barber. Barber’s first-time clearance at 5.90m was also enough to beat the German Raphael Holzdeppe, who also cleared 5.90, on a countback.
The men’s 3,000m steeplechase turned into a predictable Kenyan 1-2-3-4, with Ezekiel Kemboi kicking away on the final lap to beat his compatriots Conseslus Kipruto and Brimin Kipruto. The American Evan Jager, who has been so impressive this season, could only finish sixth.
The women’s 10,000m was won by Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot, who held off her Ethiopian rival Gelete Burka in a slow race. Britain’s Kate Avery finished in 15th place in 32:16.19 but insisted she would improve “I want to be out there competing in that atmosphere, I want to be competing with the best and I will get there.”
The other final of the night, the women’s triple jump, was won by Colombia’s defending world champion, Caterine Ibargüen, with 14.90m.