Sprint superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce focused on the short race for worlds
For someone with such single-minded focus on the track, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has shown a distinct lack of decisiveness when it comes to deciding whether she will defend both of her world sprint titles this month.
Ahead of the Stockholm Diamond League in late July, she said running in the 200 metres as well as the 100 metres at the world championships was still “possible”, before ruling it out in early August.
On Tuesday, however, she was listed in the Jamaican team for Beijing as running in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m – the three events in which she won an unprecedented haul of gold medals at the 2013 world championships in Moscow.
All, though, was apparently not as it seemed.
“No, I’m not contesting the 200m, I’ve said that a long time,” the 28-year-old told Reuters by text from her training camp in Italy on Wednesday.
Fraser-Pryce has only competed over the half-lap on one occasion this season, logging 22.37 seconds at the Jamaica Invitational on May 9 in Kingston.
In the 100 metres, though, she owns three of the five fastest times this year, including the quickest with the 10.74 she ran in Paris in early July.
Gold medals in the blue riband sprint at the Beijing and London Olympics have already established her beyond doubt as one of the greatest ever women sprinters but Fraser-Pryce still has goals.
Although she is giving up the chance to become the first woman to win the world sprint double on two occasions, Fraser-Pryce can now focus solely on her attempt to become the first woman to win three 100m titles at the world championships.
The now disgraced American Marion Jones won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1999 and in Beijing Fraser-Pryce could better the tally she matched with her gold medals in Berlin in 2009 and Moscow in 2013.
The fourth fastest woman of all time courtesy of the 10.70 she ran in Kingston in 2012, Fraser-Pryce has run below 10.80 seconds 10 times over her career.
She has yet to dip below the 10.70 second mark, however, and join what is currently an exclusively American club comprising Florence Griffith-Joyner, whose world record of 10.49 has stood since 1988, Carmelita Jeter (10.64) and Jones (10.65).
“Training has been going good so far,” she added.
“As it relates to time I will need to just execute and see what happens. My chances are good going into the championship. But the work has to be done to reap those chances.”
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Updated: August 15, 2015 04:00 AM