Four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has targeted becoming a member of the exclusive 10.6s club by next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 32-year-old once again proved to be the woman to beat after obliterating the field to claim the women’s 100m title at the Doha World Championships on Sunday. The medal was Fraser-Pryce’s 8th World Championships gold overall, adding to two Olympic medals to make for one of the most impressive tallies of all-time.
Fraser-Pryce’s blistering burst of 10.71, was remarkably the sixth time the athlete has recorded a time in that range at a major championship. The exception came in 2016 when she lost to compatriot Elaine Thompson at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. For the athlete, who seems to have made the art of peaking at the right time an exact science, the achievement was even more special this time around, having come back to the sport after having her first child. It’s hard to imagine that just two years ago she watched the London World Championships from her living room couch.
With a combined 16 medals at the Olympic and World Championship level it hard to imagine something missing from such a stellar CV but there remains an achievement that continues to elude the diminutive Jamaican champion.
Despite her personal best of 10.70 being just on the cusp of cracking the 10.6 barrier it remains a bridge the athlete is yet to cross. So far, it is a feat that has been achieved by three women in history, Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), Carmelita Jeter (10.64) and Marion Jones (10.65), all Americans.
“I definitely think I have a 10.6 within me. I don’t know why it’s still within me but we are working on it and we have 10 months to go until Tokyo so hopefully, we can get it together,” Fraser-Pryce said.
“My coach did say earlier that he believes I’m not fully back. So, we are working on it,” she added.
Despite not yet managing to achieve the mark, the athlete insisted that she took comfort in maintaining such a high level for such a long period and hoped to continue inspiring future generations.
“The only Championship that I’ve not managed to run a 10.7 is the Rio Olympics and for me this longevity is a major plus. It’s just my hope that young athletes that are coming up can understand that you have time and it can happen. You can do well even after a number of years.”
Source: Kwesi Mugisa