For many followers of track and field, flamboyant American woman – Florence Griffith-Joyner come across as the greatest female sprinter of all time.
Griffith-Joyner holds the world record in both 100 and 200m, and also won three gold medals at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, is the one.
But, despite her rich accomplishment in the 1988 Olympic Games, Four-time Olympic medal winner – Ato Boldon, shares a strong view that Jamaican sprint goddess, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is in fact the greatest of all time.
The ‘Pocket Rocket’ as she is affectionately called is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a four-time world champion.
Ato Boldon enumerated why he’ll rate Ann-Fraser ahead of Griffith-Joyner in Athletics Live interview on Instagram with two-time Olympic 100m champion – Gail Devers on Wednesday.
‘I’ve got to go with the world-record holder,” said Devers matter-of-factly.
But, the former Trinidadian track and field athlete and politician [Boldon] would take his time to explain why Fraser-Pryce is rather the best ever.
“I get into trouble with that because I have to broadcast with my head and not my heart. I can’t have any allegiance and I look at what Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has done. “Two gold medals and a bronze in back-to-back-to-back; the four world titles, more than anybody else, male or female.
“I know she doesn’t have the world record, obviously, but if you go ‘Tom Brady is the greatest or (basketball legend) Bill Russell or whoever is the greatest; it’s based on the championships,” Boldon opined while Devers nodded in agreement.
According to Boldon, Flo-Jo only had one great season when she set world records in both the 100m and 200m and then went to the Olympics and won the sprint double and the 4x100m relay and picked up a silver behind Russia in the 4x400m.
“Yes, it was the greatest year ever, but it was the one year,” he said.
Devers then responded saying “I get what you’re saying” but Boldon continued to reinforce his point pointing out that if anyone asked Mike Powell, who has held the long jump world record for 30 years now, who is the greatest long jumper, he would say Carl Lewis “without even thinking about it.”
Lewis won long jump gold in four consecutive Olympic Games – 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996.
As if that was not enough Boldon added that most people would never consider Wayde van Niekerk, the 400m world record holder, the greatest 400m runner of all time over Michael Johnson.
“You have to apply the rules the same way,” Boldon said. “Most world record holders aren’t necessarily the greatest.”
Haven’t presented all these facts, Devers [a great friend of Florence Griffith-Joyner] had no other option than to agree with Ato Boldon:
“You’re right, you’re right,” she agreed. “It’s as you said, it’s the consistency, it’s how many titles, can they come back-to-back.
“I have to give some second thought to that. You’re right.”