Gainesville sprinter sets U20 world record

Track and field

Gainesville’s Tamari Davis ran a 10.83-second 100-meter dash to set the under 20 world record at the Ed Murphey Classic in Memphis on Saturday.

The event, carried live on ESPN3, was at the Billy J. Murphy Sports Complex on the University of Memphis campus. Davis, 19 years, five months and 15 days old, shattered the previous record of 10.87 set by Marlies Oelsner Gohr of Germany July 1, 1977.

In the preliminaries, Davis tied the world record, running 10.87 to win heat 3. In the finals, she led, but was caught at the end by Twanisha Terry, part of the USA’s gold medal-winning 4×100-meter relay team at last week’s World Athletics Championship. Terry ran 10.82 to win the event final on Saturday.

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After a sterling career as an age group runner and high school competitor at Gainesville High and Oak Hall, Davis signed a professional contract on Jan. 30, 2020, with Adidas just before her 17th birthday. Since then, she has been plagued by injuries. This year — her best as a professional — she finished fourth at the USATF National Championships in the 100 in a time of 10.78. That time was not a record because the wind was above the allowable 2.0 meters/second.

Davis now owns the first, second, fifth and sixth fastest time ever run by a woman under 20 years old.

NOTE: Sha’Carri Richardson ran 10.75 in legal wind as a 19 year old, but World Athletics, the International Governing body of track and field, never ratified it because their protocols were not followed.

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