Fraser-Pryce set sights on Flo-Jo's 100m world recordSunday, June 13, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Still fresh from her barrier-breaking run just over a week ago World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser- Pryce has already adjusted her sights and says the once-forbidding world record of 10.49 seconds might not be so daunting after all.
Fraser-Pryce exploded from the starting blocks at the third Jamaica Olympic Association/Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association Olympic Destiny Series at the National Stadium on June 5 and, when she crossed the finish line, the clock showed a jaw-dropping 10.63 seconds (1.3m/s), making her the second-fastest woman ever to run the event.
The late Florence Griffith-Joyner, known worldwide as Flo-Jo for her speed as well as her flamboyant costumes, set the world record under controversial circumstances in Indianapolis in July 1988 and Fraser-Pryce admits that she has thought about breaking the record.
After finally dipping under the 10.7-second barrier she said new vistas have been opened and her sights have adjusted higher.
“I've said this over the years. For me to think about 10.4 I have to first break 10.7, which I just accomplished, so I'm taking it one step at a time. I'm excited to take up new challenges,” she told the Jamaica Observer last week.
She admitted that a week after her run she was still processing what she had accomplished.
“It hasn't sunk in as yet, I'm still feeling, like, wow! To finally achieve something I wanted for so long, coupled with the bonus of it being on home soil...”
She described the race as her best technically after watching the race with coach Reynaldo Walcott.
“It was definitely one of the most technically sound races my coach and I put together. The result was a new national record and the fulfilment of a long-standing goal to break the 10.7 barrier, but definitely there is room for improvement.”
The argument that she is the best female sprinter ever has gathered momentum, and Fraser-Pryce says she likes the feeling it gives her.
“Naturally I feel good knowing my body of work speaks for itself.”
Despite her successes dating back more than a decade to 2008 when she won her first major medal at the Beijing Olympic Games, it took a while for her to start seeing herself among the best.
“Honestly the belief came over time,” she said. “The more I grew as an athlete the more I found myself believing anything was possible. The more I achieved the more targets I found myself setting. I just continue to feed that hunger.”
She is not looking too far ahead, however, and while saying her focus was on making the Jamaica team to the Tokyo Olympics next month, the idea of defending her World Championships title is a good one.
“I have always taken each competition at a time. Right now I'm not focused on next year. The goal right now is making the team to Tokyo. We will see what happens at the Olympics. I am looking forward to the opportunity to defend my [World] Championship title in Oregon.”
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