Thank you!

Emotional Fraser-Pryce says crowd support pushed her to 100m win at JN Racers Grand Prix

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior Staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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Despite her many outstanding accomplishments over the past decade, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce couldn't hold back the nerves ahead of her 100m race at the JN Racers Grand Prix last Saturday.

That was until the vociferous crowd inside the National Stadium threw its support in a most tangible way behind the iconic sprinter, who was contesting only her third race since giving birth to her son Zion last August.

The 31-year-old two-time Olympics 100m champion of 2008 and 2012, made a return to the track a few weeks ago at the JAAA All Comers meet winning in 11.53 seconds. Her second appearance was at the Cayman Invitational the previous week and she finished second in 11.33 seconds behind American Jenna Prandini.

With obvious progress being made, Fraser-Pryce was a last minute addition to the JN Racers Grand Prix.

She was thrown into the amphitheatre against some fierce and seasoned competitors with thousands awaiting the outcome. But they didn't just wait, they made her feel welcome with every sight of her on the big screen monitors inside the venue and they went wild when she was introduced.

“It was really emotional,” said a wide-eyed Fraser-Pryce. “It's just because I don't cry very often, but it was really a warm reception.”

Since the birth of her child, Fraser-Pryce changed her moniker from “Pocket Rocket” to “Mommy Rocket” and although she didn't leave the starting block with her usual bullet-like start, she was roared on to victory in 11.10 seconds.

“I am just really happy to be here; thank God for allowing me to finish healthy first of all. It's my third 100m, still a little choppy, but nonetheless I am really grateful for the outcome,” said Fraser-Pryce, even as the crowd continued buzzing with excitement.

Drawn in lane six with her recent conqueror Prandini on her left, it was the 16-year-old Briana Williams to her right that left the blocks fastest, but Fraser-Pryce quickly got into her strides, went by Williams and held off the fast-finishing Prandini to the line.

It wasn't the quickest of races but for Fraser-Pryce it was a fantastic comeback run being spurred on by the vociferous crowd.

“I think the crowd just gave me an extra push. I was listening and I was a little nervous, but I am always nervous before I run,” she explained.

“But when I heard the screams and the shouts, I just calmed and I remember, oh, I have been here before and I am just really glad everyone came out and supported me,” reiterated Fraser-Pryce.

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