‘Fraser-Pryce pushes me to a different level’ – Bahamian Pan Am bronze medalist hails Jamaican idol

By Sports Desk August 13, 2019
Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Bahamian Tynia Gaither. Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Bahamian Tynia Gaither.

Bahamian sprinter Tynia Gaither has named decorated Jamaica star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as one of her biggest inspirations after claiming a rare bronze medal for the country, at the Pan American Games last week.

On Friday, the 26-year-old Gaither crossed the line in 27.76 seconds, well behind winner Fraser-Pryce, who broke a 40-year-old record after clocking 22.43 to take gold.  Despite finishing some way behind Jamaican and getting passed by Brazil’s Vitoria Rosa, close to the line, the achievement was a significant one.  In fact, only three Bahamian women have done what Gaither did and all were a part of the nation’s golden generation.

In 1987, Pauline Davis-Thompson earned the first medal for the Bahamas sprinters at the event when she secured the bronze medal in the 100 and 200m.  In 1999, Chandra Sturrup clinched the first gold in the 100m and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie followed by snatching the gold in the 200m.  Sturrup was the last female sprinter to medal at the Games after claiming a bronze in the 100m in 2007.

“Shelly-Ann is one of my idols, so every time I get to line up with her I’m on cloud nine,” Gaither told the Bahamas Tribune.

“She pushes me to a different level. I raced against her a few times and I can honestly say, I had some of my best races. So just to be able to be in that calibre with her was great. I wasn’t really nervous. I felt it was just a blessing to be there,”

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