Sport & Entertainment
JAM | Feb 11, 2024

A glimpse at the legendary career of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Shari-Lee Crooks

Shari-Lee Crooks / Our Today

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Sprint icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. (Photo: shellyannfraserpryce.com)

Legendary sprint icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce announced officially that she will hang up her spikes after the Olympic Games in Paris later this year.

Fraser-Pryce has become synonymous with Jamaica and is the most prolific in a long line of sprint royalty that hail from the island. While a lot people’s first thought when considering Jamaican sprinters might be Usain Bolt, and within perfect reason, Fraser-Pryce’s longevity on the track has put her in the top tier of global sprinters and is among the most successful ever in the sport, male or female.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was an alternate in the 2007 World Championships and received a medal for her participation in the heats.

However, her first real introduction to the global scene was the 2008 season. She placed second in our National Trials and was the subject to quite a controversy as her placement meant she would make the team ahead of sprint darling Veronica Campbell-Brown.

World Athletics Championship – Women’s 100m Semi Finals – National Athletics Centre, Budapest, Hungary – August 21, 2023 Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reacts after finishing first in heat 1 (Photo: REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File)

The rules allow for the selection committee to swap out fourth place for third place, but since Pryce, then Fraser, came second, she was guaranteed a place in the team for the 100m. Fraser -Pryce stepped on to the track in the final, under the lights of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, and became Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s first ever gold medalist in the women’s 100m event.

Her first Olympic Games, her first individual gold. Fraser would etch her name into history and would be a force to be reckoned with for over a decade.

Across four Olympic cycles, Fraser-Pryce has racked up eight medals; 3 golds and 4 silvers and 1 bronze, including a title defense of the 100m in the London Games in 2012, becoming just the third woman in history to defend the 100m Olympic title. That was also the year she added the 200m to her resume and competed in her first Olympic Games in the sprint double.

Athletics – Diamond League – Zurich – Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland – September 8, 2022 Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins the women’s 100m final (Photo: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File)

Fraser-Pryce is also a staple the World Athletics Championships and has an impressive 14-medal haul which consists of 10 golds and 4 silvers. She is the only sprinter in history to win five world titles in the 100m and her win in 2019 made her the first mother in almost 30 years to claim the 100m crown. She also had the sprint sweep in 2013 winning the 100m, 200m and a member of the gold medal winning team in the 4x100m relay.

She is the first woman to have that sweep in World Championship history. That season was also the year she won the Wanda Diamond League in both sprints.

Diamond League – Monaco – Stade Louis II, Monaco – August 10, 2022 Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning the Women’s 100m (Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

Motherhood did not slow down Fraser-Pryce as she has the most sub-11secs clockings of her career since having her son, Zyon and has the fastest times by a woman over 30 years old in history.

Both her 2019 and 2022 World Championship titles came after giving birth and she has helped to redefine what is possible for women who pause their athletic careers to have children.

This year we will see the legend compete in a remarkable fifth Olympic Games and try to add to her already impressive tally. When she leaves the track after Paris, she will be the among most decorated track athletes of all time.

The Olympics Games are scheduled to be held in Paris from July 26 – August 11, with the sprints set to start on August 1.

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