Most people would jump at the chance of getting a second crack at getting something they initially get wrong, right. Veronica Campbell-Brown, one of the most successful female sprinters in history, is no different.

There have been rumours that World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is no longer being coached by the MVP Track Club and the man who brought her to stardom, coach, Stephen Francis.

Has Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce switched coaches and camps once again as she continues to prepare for what will be her final Olympic Games?

If not, why is she reportedly training separately from her MVP teammates?

The recently minted four-time 100m world champion is, according to eyewitness accounts, now training under the watchful eye of Reynaldo Walcott at Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston while MVP’s athletes train at the nearby Stadium East facility.

Walcott, who coaches at St. Elizabeth Technical High School in Santa Cruz, Jamaica, briefly coached the two-time Olympic 100m champion after she left the club following the 2016 Rio Olympics campaign.

The Digicel Ambassador returned to the MVP track club in early 2017, eventually going on to win her fourth 100m world title in Doha in 2019 under the brilliant guidance of Coach Stephen Francis.

In response to queries from Sportsmax.TV, the athlete’s management has been mum on the issue.

Bruce James, Fraser-Pryce’s manager, said he was unable to comment on whether Walcott was once again coaching the woman many believe to be the greatest-ever female sprinter. Walcott also declined to comment when questioned by Sportsmax.TV on Thursday. “I cannot comment on that,” he said.

However, in the past few days, Fraser-Pryce’s name was reportedly on a list of athletes approved to train at Independence Park inside the National Stadium. Moreover, several individuals not affiliated with MVP, but who still declined to go on record, told Sportsmax.TV that looking on, they saw Fraser-Pryce training alone under Walcott’s watchful eye as recently as yesterday (Wednesday).

Sources indicate that Fraser-Pryce has not been at the MVP training site for several days. Some MVP athletes, those sources said, believe an injury is the reason for her absence.

The “Pocket Rocket’ first came to prominence at the MVP track club in 2008 when she surprised many by finishing second at the Jamaican National Championships in 10.82s behind Kerron Stewart but upstaging veterans Sherone Simpson and Veronica Campbell-Brown, who finished third and fourth, respectively.

At the Beijing Olympics that year, she won the 100m in 10.78, becoming the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m title. She followed up that performance by winning the first of her four 100m World titles in 10.73s at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

She would go on to Moscow in 2013 where she won the treble (100m, 200m, 4x100m) and then defended her 100m title in Helsinki in 2015.

She battled a debilitating toe injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she won a bronze medal in the 100m before temporarily parting company with the club.

The joint national 100m record holder will be attempting to win a third 100m Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed until 2021 because of the Coronavirus COVID19 pandemic.

 

 

The Commentators, Donald Oliver and Ricardo Chambers, as noted sports journalists, have been at the forefront of tracking the careers of sportsmen and women worldwide.

On Sunday, the world welcomed news of the birth of the first child of track and field icon Usain Bolt and his lovely other half Kasi Bennett. Congratulations to both who I am sure will make wonderful parents to their little girl.

Global athletics superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is certainly deserving of yet another gold medal for what must certainly feel like a timely and meaningful contribution for those impacted by the global battle with the coronavirus.

The noted absence, however, of some of her Caribbean contemporaries speaks volumes or at the very least to a missed opportunity. 

Whether you consider it to be a foolish fact of life or not, millions of fans across the globe look up to the legends of sports on the pitch, track, or court as heroes.  Their opinions and actions carry a lot of weight and as a result, the post like it or not comes with a certain amount of social responsibility.

 In and of itself it makes no difference how far you can run down a track or how far you can hit a ball.  It is, in fact, the direct connection that those actions have with generations of fans who are inspired and filled with hope that makes those exploits worth the price tag.  It is a sacred responsibility and the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, perhaps the world’s biggest crisis, since World War II, marked the perfect opportunity to step up and fill those roles regardless of how small the contribution.

Leading the way, sports two biggest superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who donated €1 million each to fight the disease in Portugal and Spain.

 In addition, the pair also posted messages of support for local governments and solidarity with those affected.  Of course, not everyone can make such a sizeable contribution.  Elsewhere, Joe Root and Jos Butler auctioned World Cup jerseys with proceeds expected to go towards the fight against the coronavirus.  In the NBA, several players have contributed to various causes with superstars like LeBron James and Steph Curry asking fans to keep safe and ensure they followed lockdown protocols.  Early on cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and closer home, Brian Lara, also sent messages of encouragement.  The great West Indian batsman even posting a video of himself demonstrating the proper way to wash your hands.

By contrast, with the exception of Fraser-Pryce, who generously donated three-dozen care package to student-athletes, the voices of the Caribbean’s sports stars have been oddly silent as the region and world battles the disruptive, dangerous epidemic.  With the Caribbean still spared major loss of life or high infection rates, perhaps the gravity of the situation is yet to sink in.

Adding powerful voices to those of the numerous governments could assist in keeping those rates down.  I could have missed the, and apologise if I have, but in my estimation, a bit more is needed than comedic tissue juggling acts or other stay-at-home challenges.  Perhaps though, other contributions have been made during this time of need that are yet to be recorded.  In times of despair, those influential regional voices could utter kind words of encouragement or demonstrate thoughtful gestures that could go a long way to helping the hurt of some fans.  It, after all, sends the clear signal that though we may be isolated, we are all in this fight together.   

Nine-time world champion continues to put us all to shame with her altruism.

They may be small in stature, but few could argue that Jamaica track stars Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce haven't been worth their weight in gold. For the tiny island nation, their names have become synonymous with volcanic eruptions of joy and unbridled celebration, with victory over stubborn opponents, typically dispatched and gold delivered somewhere under 23 seconds.

Campbell-Brown blazed the trail early, winning for Jamaica at every level. In fact, the sprinter is one of only nine athletes to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level.

The irrepressible Fraser-Pryce has ruled the roost since going on to stack up a list of accomplishments that has continued to amaze the sport of track and field. The pocket rocket recently became the only sprinter to be crowned world champion over the 100m four times (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019). 

Listed below are a few of their accomplishments and how they stack up. SFP or VCB, who is the sprint queen that rules your heart?

 

 

Career Highlights

VCB

- One of only nine athletes to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level.

- First Jamaican and Caribbean woman to win a sprint Olympic title (2004).

 

SFP

¬- IAAF World Athlete of the Year (2013)

-     First Caribbean woman to win 100m gold at the Olympics (2008)

-     Only sprinter to be crowned world champion over 100m four times (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019)

-    National record holder