'Let us run' – Fraser-Pryce insists athletes must retire on own terms

By Sports Desk January 18, 2020
Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce. Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce.

Jamaican sprint superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists athletes should retire on their own terms not feel pressure to step aside due to factors like aging.

With sprinting and sports in general often considered the domain of younger athlete, Fraser-Pryce became one of several current stars willing to buck that trend after capturing gold at the Doha World Championships last year.  In the process, she became the oldest woman to ever win 100m gold at a global championship.  The 33-year-old also became the only sprinter to be crowned world champion over the 100m four times (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019) and the first woman to hold dual world and Olympic titles on two separate occasions.

With 10-years having passed since she made her debut as a 21-year-old at the 2008 Olympic Games, her achievements are as much a testament to her longevity as much as it is to her talent.

“The last time I won this award was 2015 and to be here over a decade later still representing the unique legacy that we have here for Jamaica in sprinting and athletics is a huge honour,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“I hope that with this award a lot more athletes can understand that there is so much more to us as athletes and so much more to give.  You decide when its time to go,” she added.

Fraser-Pryce registered another milestone two years ago when she took time off from the sport to have her first child.

 

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    Jamaica sprint queen, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, believes compatriot Usain Bolt may have stepped away from the sport of track and field too early.

    Bolt and Fraser-Pryce were the biggest stars in a decade of sprint dominance for Jamaica.  Between them, the duo racked up 20 World Championship gold medals and 10 Olympic gold medals.  However, while the evergreen Fraser-Pryce continues to dazzle the world with her prowess on the track, Bolt hung up his spikes in 2017.

    At the age of 33, Fraser-Pryce created history by becoming the first athlete to claim four 100m World Championship titles, in an event not known for its longevity and consistency.  Bolt has three and Fraser-Pryce who took two years off after having her first child before returning to the top of sprinting, believes it could have been more.

    “I don’t think it was ok for him to quit just yet.  I think he had more time in him, but I think he was a little tired and doesn’t like the training that much,” Fraser-Pryce said in a recent interview.

    “I definitely think he misses it because he can see what I’m doing.  He messages me all the time and says it’s amazing to see what you are doing and I tell him you could still have been doing what I have been doing.”

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    Jamaica track and field superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce already has one eye on defending her World Championship title on home soil, so to speak, with the 2021 edition set to be held in the North American region.

    The 32-year-old created history at the last edition of the event in Doha, where she became the first woman to win four 100m world titles.  Fraser-Pryce has captured the world title at the Berlin (2009), Moscow (2013), Beijing (2015) and Doha (2018) World Championships.

    Even though it is the Tokyo Olympics that is on the immediate horizon, the diminutive sprinter admits it is hard not to try and take a peek a little further ahead, an event that is likely to be her last major games appearance.

    “After Tokyo, I am the defending champion at the world championships in Eugene and that is so close to home,” Fraser-Pryce told the AFP.

    “It’s a few hours [flight] from Jamaica and to be able to end a career close to home, where I can have most, if not all, of my family in attendance, would be the highlight of my career,” she added.

    “I am taking it a year at a time. After Tokyo, I can make that decision.”

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    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has taken her good form from last season when she won the women’s 100 metres at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics indoors, winning the Muller Indoor Grand Prix 60-metre in Glasgow on Saturday.

    Fraser-Pryce was in good company when she won the event in 7.16 seconds ahead of Côte d'Ivoire’s Muriel Ahouré, who hit the line in 7.22.

    Also lining up in Glasgow on Saturday was Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison, who after showing some potential, has gone through two very lean seasons.  

    Morrison was well back in third, finishing in 7.30 seconds. The Jamaican hit the tape ahead of Great Britain’s Amy Hunt, 7.36.

    Hunt’s countrymate Ama Pipi was fifth in 7.42 while Katarzyna Sokólska of Poland was sixth in 7.44.

    Rounding out the eight were Slovenia’s Maja Mihalinec, 7.46, and the Netherland’s Naomi Sydney, 7.52.

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