Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Kip Keino Classic, 100m, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC
When SAFP ran 10.67 last weekend in her opener at 100m, many of us were astounded. As RBR senior editor Stuart Weir noted, "what's next"?
Stuart explores that question and her astounding opening in this column.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 10.67
What was Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce doing running 10.67 into a negative win in Kenya last week? Apparently, it was a meeting record, a Kenyan all-comers record, and the fastest ever season opener for any 100m sprinter in history. So, now you know.
She said afterward" "It was very good, the atmosphere was fantastic. I'm not sure if it was perfect-I'd have to see the replay. But the time tells me that my traiing has been going great."
Don't you know how the top athletes run a ridiculous time and then want to critique it.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Lausanne 2021, photo by Diamond League AG
All her career she wants to go sub-10.7 and then it happens three times in a year at the age of 35.
I have been watching her since 2008. I have seen her win her medals in the 100m in four Olympics. I have seen her in five world championships plus a good few Diamong Leagues and one Commonwealth Games. She has run sub 10.8 more than twenty times.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Nairobi Airport, May 4, 2022, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC
In Lausanne last year, I was there when she ran 10.60. She described herself as "seriously excited." The full quote is helpful in terms of giving insights into the process, with its technical analysis, raw emotion and hunger for more.
"It was a very good field and I'm happy that I stuck to it. Every race is a race and it's a different moment and you just have to deliver these moments as they come.
I was pleased that I was able to step up to the line, having that vision and trusting the process. I'm walking away with a PB and I'm seriously excited about that I was being patient with my phases which is a bit difficult for me. I don't have the best techniques as a sprinter so I have to be so deliberate to make sure I cement those phases. But I think tonight that made a difference."
An ebullient Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Lausanne DL 2021, photo by Diamond League AG
"I definitely think I'll be able to go under 10.60. The weather tonight was chilly but when the starter says 'on your marks" you totally forget about the weather.'
When I asked her about emulating Veronica Campbell-Brown's five Olympics, she laughed and said no chance. Her plan at one stage had been to retire after 2021 World Championships, but then, the 2021 World Championships became 2022. So, now it's only two years before the Olympics...