Monday, 10 March 2014
Indoor Venture a Blessing for Fraser-Pryce
WRITTEN FOR THE IAAF WEBSITE
When you can boast the sort of athletic resume that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has, it is little wonder that the Jamaican sprint superstar found herself in strong contention for the global 60m gold medal in only her second season of competing indoors.
The 27-year-old 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champion utilised her major championship experience and lightning-fast speed to scorch to the 2014 IAAF World Indoor crown in Sopot, Poland this evening - collecting a remarkable eighth global title in the process.
Sprinting to a world-leading 6.98 victory, Fraser-Pryce in turn claimed the Caribbean island’s fourth 60m win in the 16-year history of the championship and shot to seventh position on the world all-time list.
Not that the impressive statistic means anything to the 2013 IAAF World Championships 100m, 200m and 4x100m outdoor champion:
“I’ve said many times that I’m not one of those people who check statistics, follow history and see ‘if I do this, what will happen’,” she revealed.
“I just line up and I compete. I think I get going because I try not to put added pressure on myself because a lot of times, you can be very good at what you do but when you get ready, you have to be prepared to get it going.”
Flying out of the blocks with a 0.159 reaction time, Fraser-Pryce enjoyed a slight advantage after just the 10-meter point before maintaining the pole position all the way to the finish, shattering her 7.04 lifetime best set when winning the XL Galan meeting in Stockholm last winter.
Having begun her 2014 campaign with a 7.11 clocking in Kingston, her only loss of the season was having to settle for second place behind 2013 world outdoor 100m and 200m runner-up, Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast at the Birmingham Grand Prix in mid-February – her fierce rival who claimed the silver medal in Sopot with a 7.01 clocking.
On what will surely become the first of many world indoor titles, Fraser-Pryce explained:
“I was surprised – I knew I could do well here and I was more focused on getting that start so I just relied on past experience in the final and I think I got it right.
“I’m pleased I got the chance to compete at my first world indoor championship. I’m just humbled and thanking God at the same time for this opportunity – I’m so happy for everything that’s happened so far.”
Sprinting to a 7.12 first round clocking before progressing to 7.08 in the semi-final stage on Saturday, Fraser-Pryce’s sparkling 6.98 winning time was surprisingly achieved off no specific preparation:
“No special preparations, I’m still preparing for my outdoor season so nothing special for the 60m - I just came here and wasn’t prepared for the 60m,” she revealed.
“I knew I had a good start and just wanted to come here to do my best. I don’t think it was what I expected – it was ok, the 60m doesn’t make that much difference to my 100m.
“A lot of people do run well at 60m but can’t transfer it to the 100m because there’s still 40m to go and anything can happen in that last section.”
Ever the eternal competitor and perfectionist despite her apparent relaxed attitude to the 60m event, Fraser-Pryce last words confirmed her unwavering focus for preserving her winning reputation:
“Whenever we line up on the start line, we know we’re going to bring it, there’s no ‘oh, tomorrow’,” she insisted.
“We’re always laying it down and I think that’s important in order to run fast times because we’re competing.”