Ivorian Talou-Smith Is Toast of Jamaica

Marie Jose Talou-Smith drew the biggest applause for the night when she was introduced in the lineup of the women 100m at the World Athletics Jamaica Invitational International meet in Kingston, Saturday, May 11.

Talou-Smith, who represents the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire or Ivory Coast on the southern coast of West Africa and is a friend of Jamaica’s sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, flew into the island at the invitation of meet organizers and Jamaican track fans who called for her to come and run. And she didn’t disappoint.

Talou-Smith took control of the race right after her brisk start, and with high knees and arms she extended her lead to the tape to win in 10.91secs (1.1m/s), her fastest season opener ever.

The 35-yr-old former footballer, a 2017 World Championships double silver medalist and 2019 bronze medalist, has come up short in other global races, finishing in the dreaded fourth place. Now married to Jay Smith, a Trinidadian, she moved to Los Angeles in the USA in 2023 and is being conditioned by renowned sprint coach John Smith.

A recent social media post showed her and husband hanging out in Kingston with Fraser-Pryce and husband, Jason. -Desmond Palmer