Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fixes wig mid-race but still qualifies in worlds 200m

World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had to fix her wig halfway through her women’s 200m heat as she suffered a surprise defeat to Niger’s Aminatou Seyni.

The incident occurred as the Jamaican flew around the bend and felt her electric turquoise wig slipping – forcing her to reach her right arm upwards and take a second or so to adjust it. However she still finished in 22.26sec as she qualified easily for Tuesday’s semi-final.

Afterwards Fraser-Pryce explained that it was one of 10 wigs she has packed in a bag to Eugene. “I had my hair done, coloured from home, and I packed them,” she said. “I had different hair stylists here install them for me. This one I actually did myself.”

All the big names also qualified for the semi-finals, including Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who took it easy in finishing second in her heat in 22.56. “I got instructions from my coach to make sure that I ran a smart race and conserved energy for the semi-finals and the final in a few days,” she said.

However the performance of the round came from Seyni, who set a national record of 21.98 in qualifying fastest for Tuesday’s semi-finals by beating Fraser-Pryce. Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi also looked super-smooth in beating the Olympic 200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah with a run of 22.27 in her heat.

From both Seyni and Masilingi there was a sense of more to come – and that could lead to an interesting couple of days here in Eugene.

Both are barred from running in their favourite event, the 400m, under World Athletics rules for athletes with a difference in sex development (DSD), introduced after the Caster Semenya legal case in 2019.

Those rules mean 46 XY DSD athletes are banned from events between 400m and a mile, but are eligible for other events. However last month World Athletics president Sebastian Coe indicated that these rules might be changed because he favoured fairness for women’s sport over inclusion.

Coe is also mindful that in the Semenya case the court of arbitration for sport stated that 46 XY DSD athletes, who are born with male testes, “enjoy a significant sporting advantage … over 46 XX athletes without such DSD … including greater lean body mass, larger hearts and larger V02 max than 46 XX individuals”.

The hugely controversial issue has played out repeatedly in some of the biggest finals in recent years with Masilingi’s compatriot Christine Mboma winning the silver medal in Tokyo last year behind Thompson-Herah. It could yet be another talking point again.

On a day where women’s events took centre stage, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon and Belgium’s Nafi Thiam all added world titles to their Tokyo 2020 Olympic crowns.

Rojas secured an unprecedented third world triple jump title with a 15.47m leap, while Kipyegon took a thrilling 1500m. However there was drama in the heptathlon with Thiam having to overturn a 19-point deficit going into the final event to beat Anouk Vetter to win gold.

Thiam smashed her 800m PB by two seconds to end up with 6,947 points, the second-best mark of her career. However Britain’s defending champion, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, could only finish eighth with a score of 6,222.

Elsewhere, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim won his third straight world high jump title after clearing 2.37m.

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