That girl Shelly-Ann!

That girl Shelly-Ann!

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

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Dear Editor,

In early 2017 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce announced her pregnancy via social media but made it clear she would return to the track after her delivery.

This came shortly after severing ties with long-time coach Stephen Francis after the 2016 Rio Olympics, only to rejoin him shortly thereafter through the reported intervention of her sponsor Nike, a decision that has now proven to be the right one.

On Sunday, when Shelly-Ann won gold in the 100m finals at the World Championship in Doha, Qatar, it was a victory celebrated by all Jamaicans. This pleasure, though, was not just Jamaica's, it was for women worldwide, career-driven women, especially women in competitive in sports.

For years it was believed that childbirth meant the end of a career, but women over the years have proved this to be false; childbirth is merely a new beginning.

Serena Williams is one of the latest high-profile athletes to return to top-level competition after giving birth. Serena, however, is yet to win a Grand Slam title since giving birth, despite reaching many finals.

Nia Ali, a 100m hurdler from the USA, took time off in 2015 to give birth and returned in 2016 to win silver at the Rio Olympics. Lashinda Demus, the famous USA 400m hurdler and rival of Jamaican Melaine Walker, gave birth to twin boys in 2007 and returned to win gold in 2011 World Championships and silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

The 32-year-old Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce now tops the list of elite women to have returned to the top of their field, to have returned to their very best, and this only two years after giving birth. There were doubts about where she falls on the all-time list of great women sprinters, those doubts should have now vanished, with two Olympic gold medals and now four World Championship gold medals in the 100m, the “Pocket Rocket” to “Mommy Rocket” sprinter, who hails from Waterhouse, attended George Headley Primary, Wolmer's High School for Girls, and the University of Technology, Jamaica, is now undoubtedly the greatest female sprinter of all time.

Kemar Bogle

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