Shelly gracious in defeat, but could not hide disappointmentSunday, August 01, 2021
TOKYO, Japan — She was on the brink of a historic third 100m gold medal in the last four Olympic Games.
She had already taken time off her career to bear a child, returned to claim a third gold at the World Championships and had become the second fastest woman in history earlier this year with a 10.63-second clocking.
But on Saturday night inside the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, she found her compatriot and defending 100m gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah in unbeatable condition.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce did her best to finish second in 10.74 seconds, with another Jamaican, Shericka Jackson, completing a sweep of the podium places and medals in a personal best 10.76 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce was disappointed, but grateful for the successes of her compatriots.
“Of course you are disappointed, the only aim an athlete lines up for is to always win and that didn't happen tonight, but I'm still very grateful to be able to make the final and to be able to stand on the podium at my fourth Olympic Games, so putting it in perspective, I'm really grateful for the opportunity that I had tonight,” Fraser-Pryce said.
She acknowledged that fast times were expected based on what had been seen from the previous day's activity.
“From the heats, I knew it was going to be a fast race, but you just have to be prepared for anything and I'm really excited that female sprinting is growing to another level and that's truly remarkable and it speaks to the depth that we have in terms of females and you always have to show up and be ready.
“So I'm grateful the gift that God has given me [whch] was on display tonight, and even though it happened that way, I'm still excited that I walked away yet again with another medal.”
And Fraser-Pryce — the 2008 and 2012 100m Olympic Games gold medallist — is happy to have been a leader among Jamaica's women sprinters who continue to enrich its legacy.
“The legacy that we have in Jamaica is incredible and I'm hoping that no matter what happens that our athletes can draw inspiration from whomever — Shericka stepping down from a quarter-miler to the sprints, from Elaine running the Olympic record, from myself coming to my fourth Olympic Games, whatever it is, I'm hoping that Jamaican athletes can draw inspiration from that and I always give God thanks for the ability that I have and to be able to come out here and to give Him the glory,” Fraser-Pryce ended.
— Ian Burnett