Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has withdrawn from the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in Gaborone on April 29. Thursday. According to a statement released by the organizers on Thursday, the five-time world 100m champion has been forced to withdraw from the meet because of a family emergency.

The two-time Olympic 100m gold medalist was expected to open her campaign on the African continent as she prepares to attempt to win a sixth 100m title at the World Championships in Budapest in August.

 “I was very excited to kick off my season on Botswana, and while it comes as a disappointment, I will unfortunately no longer be able to compete in the Golden Grand Prix due to a family emergency,” the superstar athlete was quoted as saying.

The organizers wished the global track star the best.

“(We) wish Mrs Fraser-Pryce and her family well, Whilst we were looking forward to having Mrs Fraser-Pryce kick off her season in Botswana, we are working on getting another athlete to fill the gap in the Women’s 100m race,” they said.

Fraser-Pryce kicked off her campaign in Nairobi, Kenya in 2022, running a world-leading 10.67. It was the first of seven times that she would run under 10.70s in the 100m for the season including at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon where she became the first running athlete to win five titles in the same event since the championships began in 1983.

Five-time world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will open her season on April 29 at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in Gaborone.

The meet is the second on World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting for 2023.

It will be the second-year running that the two-time Olympic 100m champion will open her season in Africa. In 2022, she opened her season in Nairobi, Kenya where she ran 10.67 at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, also a Continental Tour Gold event, to achieve the fastest ever women’s 100m season opener.

She went on to win a fifth world 100m title in Oregon and this year will aim to add another gold medal to her highly decorated CV at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23.

“I will be returning to Africa at the Botswana Continental Tour Gold track meet,” said Fraser-Pryce in a message to fans. “I am excited to be opening my season so you guys get to see me run fast and have fun.”

Joining Fraser-Pryce in Botswana will be fellow sprinters Kirani James and Ferdinand Omanyala, who have been announced for the 400m and 100m, respectively.

Grenada’s James completed a set of world 400m medals in Oregon last year, claiming silver to go with his 2011 gold and 2015 bronze.

Kenya’s Omanyala, meanwhile, claimed Commonwealth Games and African 100m titles in 2022.

This year's World Athletics Continental Tour offers the biggest calendar yet and includes 14 Gold level events spread across five of the six continental areas. The action kicked off in Melbourne, Australia, on 23 February and runs through to September, when the Memorial Borisa Hanzekovica in Zagreb, Croatia, welcomes athletes on 8-10 September.

Other athletes already announced for Tour events include Mondo Duplantis for the Ostrava Golden Spike on 27 June, and Femke Bol and Lieke Klaver for the FBK Games on 4 June.

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