|Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (second from left) edges American Carmelita Jeter for the gold medal.. (AP)|
The women's 100-meter dash still belongs to Jamaica.
Four years after the island nation of 2.9 million swept all three medals in the event, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce defended her Beijing gold medal by edging American world champion Carmelita Jeter by three hundredths of a second.
Fraser-Pryce was quicker out of the blocks and just held off the powerful Jeter's late surge, finishing in 10.75 to Jeter's 10.78.
Veronica Campbell-Brown, the two-time defending gold medalist in the 200 meters, took bronze in 10.81-- making it five medals out of six for Jamaica in the 100 over the past two Games.
Americans Tianna Madison and Allyson Felix finished fourth and fifth, posting times of 10.85 and 10.89, respectively. Both times are personal bests, and Felix's in particular will do nothing to damage her standing as the gold-medal favorite in the 200 over Campbell-Brown.
Trinidad's Kelly-Ann Baptiste (10.94), Cote d'Ivoire's Murielle Ahoure (11.00) and Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare (11.01) rounded out the field.
Despite the U.S.'s great sprinting tradition, the women's 100 meters has not been kind to Team USA at the Olympics. Jeter's silver is only the second American medal in the event since 1996, and the U.S. has not won gold since Gail Devers at those Atlanta Games.
The comfortable U.S. Olympic Trials champion, Jeter was favored by many to change that. But Fraser-Pryce was always expected to be her biggest challenger and split the gold and silver between them--the same pair finished one-two (Jeter, then Fraser-Pryce) at the 2011 World Championships.
That's exactly how they finished after Saturday's London semifinals, too, Jeter's time of 10.83 just edging Fraser-Pryce's 10.85 to set up the final showdown Saturday night.
Fraser-Pryce is the first women to defend her 100 Olympic title since Devers won in 1992 and 1996.