THE HUNT IS ON!
Shelly-Ann bids for sprinting immortalityThursday, July 29, 2021
TOKYO, Japan — Jamaican “Pocket Rocket” Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is juggling being the fastest woman alive with motherhood as she bids for a third 100m Olympics gold — 13 years after her first triumph.
The 34-year-old, who stands just 1.52 metres (5 feet) tall, is set for a mouth-watering clash in Tokyo with compatriots Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson, as well as Britain's 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith as track and field competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics begins at approximately 7:00 pm Jamaica time today.
United States sprint star Sha'Carri Richardson was ruled out of the 100m in Japan after testing positive for marijuana at the US Olympic trials.
Fraser-Pryce won the first of her two Olympic 100m titles in Beijing way back in 2008, becoming the first Jamaican to win the event after previous generations of sprinters, including Merlene Ottey and Juliet Cuthbert, came up short.
She won her first world championships title in 2009 before her career was disrupted by a six-month ban the following year after she tested positive for oxycodene, which she said was as a result of medication for toothache.
Fraser-Pryce retained her 100m Olympic crown in London in 2012 but failed in her hat-trick bid at Rio in 2016, taking bronze behind Thompson-Herah.
She subsequently took time out to have a baby but returned in style to win a fourth 100m world title in 2019, also taking gold in the 4x100m relay, which was her ninth World Championships gold.
The Jamaican veteran is in Tokyo in fine fettle after running a personal best of 10.63 seconds in “super spikes” in June to become the second-fastest woman of all time behind late US sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner, who timed 10.49 seconds.
Tokyo will be Fraser-Pryce's first Olympics as a mother — she gave birth to her son Zyon in 2017 — and says it has helped her put her life in perspective.
“It doesn't matter what happens on the field, my biggest accomplishment will always be my son, and being able to come back to competition after having my son is also a big accomplishment,” she told the BBC.
“And giving other female athletes hope of whatever it is you want to do in life, you do not allow anybody to dictate what you do and when you stop. You can keep going.”
More Olympics coverage on Pages 46-51.
— AFP and Observer
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