At the Brussels Diamond League press conference on Thursday afternoon, one of the great female sprinters of all time, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, had a question for the pole vault world record holder, Mondo Duplantis: “Say, Mondo, how fast are you at the 100 metres … against me?”
— Michelle Sammet (@michellesammet) September 1, 2022
At first, Duplantis was stunned by the question, and after some thought and hesitation, he said: “I would beat you!”
But Fraser-Pryce was skeptical. “How many metres do you have to run in the pole vault? 20 metres?” Duplantis replied that his run-up is 40 metres, and that he used to race the 100m in high school.
“But wasn’t that five or six years ago,” Fraser-Pryce replied.
“But I’m much faster now than I was five years ago,” Duplantis responded.
According to the World Athletics database, Duplantis ran faster than Fraser-Pryce in college (at Louisana State University). He clocked a wind-aided time of 10.57 seconds (+2.1 m/s); Fraser-Pryce holds the faster ‘legal’ personal best of 10.60s.
Fraser-Pryce expressed disbelief, and made a bet with the pole vaulter that she would handily beat him over 100m. Duplantis accepted the challenge, which was followed by an official handshake.
The director of the Diamond League Brussels meet, Kim Gevaert, immediately responded to the challenge. “If you want, we can organize the 100m showdown for you next year at this meet?”
“Yes, next year in Brussels, Fraser-Pryce and I will race 100m. It has been arranged!” laughed Duplantis.
Live stream Brussels Diamond League
The Diamond League makes its penultimate stop in Brussels on Friday afternoon before the Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland, next week. World championship medallists Aaron Brown and Marco Arop will represent Canada in Belgium Friday afternoon, and Arop will be eyeing the 800m world-leading time of 1:43.52.
Canadians can catch all of the Diamond League Brussels action on CBC Sports. Live coverage begins Friday at 2 p.m. E.T.