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Carmelita Jeter sets pace in Olympic 100 meters

Carmelita Jeter, right, crosses the finish line in

Carmelita Jeter, right, crosses the finish line in a women's 100-meter heat during the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Aug. 3, 2012) Credit: AP

LONDON -- Is the women's Olympic 100-meter dash record of 10.62 by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1988 Seoul Games on the endangered list?

Maybe, just maybe.

Given the lightning-fast track at Olympic Stadium and the intense Carmelita Jeter / Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce rivalry, why not?

With three semifinals Saturday evening (all between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. EST) leading to the final a couple of hours later, everything's on the line to determine the world's fastest woman.

Jeter, 32, the 2011 world champion and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials winner, stands cautiously on the brink. "Everybody's running their best, everybody's at the top of their game, I'm just one of 24 left," she said after cruising through her first-round race Friday in 10.83 seconds.

"Carmelita's in great form, but so are quite a few others," said Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, the 25-year-old defending Olympic champion and 2009 world champion. She breezed Friday, too, running a non-pressed 11 seconds flat. Fraser-Pryce has run the fastest 100 of 2012, 10.70 in the Jamaica Olympic Trials.

Other top qualifiers Friday include Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare (10.93); Jamaica's two-time Olympic 200 champion Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.94); Trinidad's Kelly Ann Baptiste (10.96); and Tianna Madison (10.97) and Allyson Felix (11.01) of the United States.

In other action Friday, Poland's Tomasz Majewski won gold in the men's shot put and Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba won gold in the women's 10,000. Both also won those events in Beijing in 2008.

America's Reese Hoffa came in as a shot put favorite but settled for bronze as Majewski fought off Germany's David Storl, the 2011 world champ, with a winning toss of 21.89 meters.

In the 10,000, Dibaba unleashed an unbeatable kick to win in 30:20.75, 5.62 seconds ahead of Kenya's Sally Kipyego, the former NCAA champion for Texas Tech. Americans Amy Hastings, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom and Lisa Uhl ran 11-12-13.

The most pleasing American development was the solid men's 3,000-meter steeplechase qualifying performances by Evan Jager and recent Princeton graduate Donn Cabral. Jager, who lowered the American record to 8:06.81 three weeks ago, ran an easy 8:16.62 in his preliminary. NCAA champion Cabral advanced in 8:21.46. Now the hard part: Kenya has won the Olympic steeplechase seven Games in a row and sends out defending champion Brimin Kipruto in Sunday's final.

New York Sports