MOSCOW, Russia — Stephen Francis, the man who coached Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to a rare women's sprint double at the 14th IAAF World Championships, is not surprised by his prized pupil's success here in Moscow.
On Friday night amid wild celebrations by Jamaicans during and after the race at the Luzhniki Stadium, Francis, who was patiently waiting for the athlete to complete her obligations inside the massive complex, said simply that she would not have been entered in the double if she did not have the chance to win it.
"The only reason she was sent to do two events was because it was felt she had a chance to win, so I can't say it was unexpected," he told reporters. "It was something which was done because she had a very good chance to win both."
Fraser-Pryce joined two others who completed the double after Silke Gladisch of the former East Germany in 1987 in Rome, Italy, and Germany's Katrin Krabbe in 1991 in Tokyo, Japan.
Four men, including Jamaica's Usain Bolt has done the double, Maurice Green in 1999, Justin Gatlin in 2005, Tyson Gay in 2007, and Bolt in 2009.
Fraser-Pryce, who had won the 100m last Monday evening, used her bullet start to great effect, taking charge of the race early before powering away in the straight to win in 22.17 seconds ahead of Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast and Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare, both given the same time of 22.32 seconds.
And given the conditions, Francis said that was the only way she could have won. It was also the only sprint event of the championships where none of the finalists managed either a season or personal best.
"She ran the best way she could, given the type of anti-sprint atmosphere we have had in Moscow," he said. "Given the (very cool) temperatures and lack of wind, it was the best way she could run..."
The first few days of the championships that started last Saturday were hot and sunny, but the temperatures started to drop a few days ago and despite bright sunshine, the conditions, especially in the evening sessions, have been cool.
In her post-race interviews, Fraser-Pryce spoke of "hating" the 200m event, but said after her pre-race talk with Francis, "I decided I was going to let it all out on the track, my coach, before I came out, said to me, for the past few meets I have not been running the corner how I should and he said to me 'you won't be tired in the end, don't worry, you will feel some pain, but feel the pain', and so I decided I was going to run that (first) 100m like a train, I was going to come off the corner and hit the straight and I was going to power home."
American Allyson Felix, who had won three gold medals in the event between 2005 and 2009, suffered an ankle injury early in the race, collapsing to the ground and was lifted off first by her brother then placed on a stretcher.