‘Shelly is beyond special’ – Bolt
… Sprinting great hails fellow icon after fifth World Champs 100m title
Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Track and field icon Usain Bolt hailed Jamaica’s female sprinting trio of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah after their medal sweep in the 100m final at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday and expressed pride in the development of young sprinter Oblique Seville, the men’s 100m finalist.

As she has done so many times throughout her unmatched career, Fraser-Pryce took charge at the beginning and was never under threat, stopping the clock at 10.67 seconds – the fastest time ever in the event at the World Championships, to secure her 13th gold medal at the global senior level.

Jackson followed in a personal best 10.73 seconds with Elaine Thompson, the Olympic double sprint champion, sealing the first-ever World Championships medal sweep in the event with a 10.81-seconds clocking.

Remarkably, this is Fraser-Pryce’s fifth 100m gold medal at the World Championships, extending her record as the most successful in the event. The trio also repeated their medal sweep in the event at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Bolt tipped his hat to his compatriots and was particularly thrilled for Fraser-Pryce, his long-time former teammate.

“Jamaica’s female sprinting is at its highest and I wish to salute Shelly, Shericka and Elaine for leading the charge,” Bolt told the Jamaica Observer in an exclusive interview.

“Shelly’s longevity and commitment are beyond special and I am super proud of her especially knowing we basically started running together from junior days. It is just a great feeling seeing these phenomenal women burning up the track,” said Bolt before weighing in on Seville’s performances at the championships.

Bolt, who shared that he recently texted the 21-year-old 100m finalist, encouraged Seville to continue to trust his coach Glen Mills, who is also Bolt’s former coach, and believes he is primed to achieve greater success in the sport.

“I’m very proud of the progress Seville is making. He’s still young. Once he continues to put in the hard work and listen to the guru Glen Mills the world will be his for the taking,” said Bolt.

“No I didn’t (speak to him before the championship), I spoke mostly with coach Mills to check in on how things were going. I sent him a text just letting him know how impressed and proud I’m of his development so far and just to keep putting in the work,” Bolt shared.

Seville, who lowered his personal best to 9.86 seconds earlier this season, clocked 9.97 to finish fourth in the 100m final after earlier qualifying for the medal round as the fastest qualifier with a 9.90 effort. This was Seville’s second senior championships after his semi-final effort in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympic Games last year.

Bolt, the world record holder in the 100m and 200m, retired in 2017 after winning eight Olympic and 11 World Championships gold medals, ending a career that transcended the sport itself.

ANDRE LOWE , Sports content manager, lowea@jamaicaobserver.com

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