Sport

Shelly expects exciting Commonwealth Games

Looks forward to making first appearance

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, April 08, 2014    

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The United States is not a part of the Commonwealth Games, but Jamaica's female sprint dynamo Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce believes there will be plenty of stiff opposition from other athletes looking to knock her off her perch as the world's current best.

Fraser-Pryce is the back-to-back Olympic Games gold medallist with 100-metre victories in 2008 and 2012, and the first female to lay claim to the 100m, 200m and 60m World Championship titles at the same time.

But the 27-year-old said the rival pair of Ivorian Murielle Ahoure, 26, and Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, 25, among others, are expected to push her to the hilt.

"I know it will be one that is very difficult and hard because you have the African nations... Ahoure, Blessing Okagbare and a lot of athletes who are doing tremendously well and will be at the Commonwealth Games," the sprint great said during Sunday's tour of the Queen's Baton Relay through Waterhouse, the neighbourhood in which she grew up.

"I think when other persons think that United States and other nations won't be in it, they think it's dead but it will be one of the events that will definitely bring a lot of excitement," added the pint-sized athlete, whose 2008 win in Beijing made her the first Jamaican woman in history to win an Olympic gold in the 100-metre event.

Fraser-Pryce, who has committed to compete at her first Commonwealth Games, scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland, this summer, said holding the Baton was the start of things to come.

While declaring that she was not yet certain what events she will compete in, she explained that the recent win over 60 metres at the World Indoor Games in Sopot is an indication of how well her early season preparation has gone.

"I'm excited of course. I've never been to a Commonwealth Games... and of course I'm starting things off by holding a baton so I'm really excited about that. I'm looking forward to Glasgow.

"My training has been going well, I won the World Indoor title a couple weeks ago so that definitely shows that training has been in full swing and going very well.

"For the Commonwealth Games I'm not sure what events I'm going to be participating in yet, but I'm looking forward to it," said the athlete, dubbed the 'Pocket Rocket' due to her small frame and usually blistering start from the blocks.

She has personal best times of 6.98s in the 60m, 10.70s in the 100m and 22.09s in the 200m.

Fraser-Pryce, a UNICEF ambassador, has been highlighting the importance of caring for children, as part of the organisation's partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CFG).

She said she wants to see how best she can use her image to positively influence young people.

UNICEF has been active alongside the CFG in the journey of the Queen's Baton Relay -- a symbol of the Commonwealth Games -- across member countries.

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