Sport

Fraser-Pryce braces for uncertain year as niggling foot injury persists

BY HOWARD WALKER Senior staff reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 03, 2017    

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It will be another challenging year for double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as she prepares to grapple with that niggling toe injury that hampered her throughout 2016. “It’s still not healed.

It’s still causing me a lot of problems, but I am just being patient right now. Majority of what I went through last year is because I wanted to go the Olympics.

It’s the Olympics. It’s every four years and I don’t know if I am going to 2020 (Olympics). I am still not a 100 per cent sure, but things are leaning in that favour of me going beyond 2017,” said Fraser-Pryce.

“The toe is what it is and I can’t do anything about it right now because I spent the 2016 season doing the worst things I possibly could have done to the toe, and that was to make it even worse,” revealed Fraser-Pryce.


“But right now I am in contact with my doctors overseas and we are looking at the best solution to make sure this stays away for the upcoming season or by next year,” she added. Fraser-Pryce was in tears on a number of occasions, especially during the Rio Olympics after competing with the injured toe that caused excruciating pain as she battled for her country.

She was chasing history as the first woman to win three consecutive Olympic 100m titles, but she was beaten by countrywoman Elaine Thompson and American Tori Bowie. Her season ended after the Olympics and it was thought that she would have had surgery, but that never materialised and for the new season, it’s still touch and go whether she goes under the knife.

“I won’t comment on that aspect just as yet because we are still working out the best way to get this thing done,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Fraser-Pryce, who turned 30 years old last December, burst onto the scene nine years ago as a relatively unknown athlete by capturing gold in the 100m at the Beijing Olympics in 10.78 seconds.

She became the first Caribbean woman to win gold in the event at an Olympics. Fraser-Pryce would then successfully defend her title at the London Olympics in 2012, becoming only the third woman to achieve that feat. And though she failed in her attempt at a third-consecutive Olympic Games 100m gold medal, she is looking forward with much gusto to defend her 100m World Championships title. But it will be another difficult year.

“I don’t want to say another challenging year. But I don’t think it can get any worse than 2016. But I am optimistic and I am always an optimistic person and I always trust the process and believe that bigger and better and greater things are ahead, and I am looking forward to that. “It’s still January. It is what it is right now’, still background time for me and I am just following the instruction of the coach and taking things easy and accessing things as we go along,” said Fraser-Pryce, whose strained relationship with coach Stephen Francis appears on the mend.

The diminutive athlete who became a world beater under the guidance of Francis parted company after the Olympics, but has since returned to the all-powerful MVP camp.

She refused to reveal what went wrong then. “I can’t speak to that. Up until this day I have not commented about it for many, many reasons and I still don’t want to comment about it,” said Fraser-Pryce.

She continued: “What happened, happened, and I don’t know how it got to where it did, but it got there and that’s just history right now. We have moved past that and we are focusing on building the relationship and moving forward as coach and athlete.”

Only last week her training partner and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson made her seasonal debut in the 60m with a personal best of 7.02 seconds.

But Fraser-Pryce is uncertain when she will take to the track. “I am not sure. Before I actually started the season, Stephen and I actually sat down to talk and we were not planning to start the season till later down in the season,” she revealed.

But whenever she starts, the “Pocket Rocket”, as she is called, will once again have to suffer through the pain barrier caused by that toe injury.

“It’s still hard to decide what will be the best source of treatment for the toe, so I am just working with the doctors right now,” ended Fraser-Pryce.

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