Assessing Fraser-Pryce’s Shot At Winning Olympic 100 And 200 Meters Double
It is said that the only thing in life that ages well is fine wine. Well, at 34 years old, Shelly-Ann Fraser is proving to be like that fine wine in the world of athletics.
In 2019, her win as a 32-year-old made her the oldest female sprinter and the first mother in 24 years to win the 100 meters at the World Championships.
Overall, in the 100 meters, Shelly-Ann is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a four-time world champion. In the 200 meters, she has won an Olympic silver medal and World Championship gold medal.
Yet, despite young challengers emerging on the circuit, Shelly-Ann is poised to do a historic Olympic double.
Here, I will assess her chances and discuss 3 reasons why winning may be on the cards.
1. Newest Nickname “Fastest Woman Alive“— on June 5, 2021,
Shelly-ann sent shockwaves around the world in just her third race of the season.
Running from lane 4 at the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series meeting, Shelly-Ann powered out of the blocks, hit her top-end speed, and pulled away from the field to run hard through the finish line before clapping and raising her arms in celebration.
The cause for celebration was due to the mind-blowing time of 10.63 she had just clocked. It was the fastest time ran by a woman in the 100 meters since Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988.
It was also the fourth-fastest time overall in history behind the world record of 10.49 and runs of 10.61 and 10.62 by Joyner.
Shelly-ann is now the fastest woman alive and sent a message to all her challengers by accomplishing the feat.
2. Double Champion at Jamaica National Trials — Shelly-ann proved that the double might be on the cards because she can perform at her peak despite having the full workload of both the 100 and 200-meter events. She had to compete in a preliminary round, semifinal, and final of each event.
Therefore, she ran 6 races in just four days and came out on top in both events. In the finals of the 100 meters, she ran a stunning 10.71 seconds.
In the 200 meters, her weakest event, Shelly-ann found an extra gear in the latter stage of the race to run a blistering 21.79 seconds.
It was the first time Fraser-Pryce broke the 22 seconds mark and shattered her previous best.
3. Tough competition — in the 100 meters, Shelly-ann’s four main challengers are likely to be Blessing Okagbare, Sha’Carri Richardson, fellow compatriots Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Blessings Okagbare dominated the field in the Nigerian National Trials in Lagos by running a wind-assisted 10.63, which made the time was not registered as legal. Her best legal time of the year is 10.90, which does indicate her potency.
According to Worldathletics.org, Sha’Carri Richardson of the United States has the second-fastest time of the year at 10.78 and is the country’s national champion.
However, On July 2, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that Richardson tested positive for chemicals in cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana.
The violation means Richardson will be suspended for 30 days starting on June 28, causing Richardson to miss the 100m in the Olympics. Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah will provide good competition, but the national trials prove that Shelly-ann will be the favorite.
On the other hand, it is not a foregone conclusion because on July 6 at the Gyulai István Memorial meet in Hungary; Elaine was able to beat Shelly-ann in a flash time of 10.71 seconds.
In the 200 meters, the challengers include the American pair of Gabrielle Thomas and Jenna Prindini as well as the Jamaican pair of Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Gabrielle Thomas appears to be the biggest challenge because, in the U.S. trial, she ran a blistering 21.61 seconds. According to worldathletics.org, Thomas’ time is the second-fastest also behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34.
At 24 years old, Gabrielle is perhaps getting into her prime, but due to her inexperience, will she be able to produce her best on the big stage? Only time will tell. Prindini is also a solid competitor who produced a 21.89 run for the second position in the U.S. trial. Of the two compatriots, Shericka Jackson appears to be the main challenger.
After moving from the 400 meters to the sprints, Shericka demonstrated tremendous closing speed in the national trials by pushing Shelly-Ann to the line and losing by only .03 seconds in a tight finish.
Nonetheless, Elaine Thompson-Herah cannot be counted out to find her mojo and deliver as the reigning double Olympic champion in the sprints.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is dubbed the nickname Pocket Rocket because of her incredible ability to get out of the blocks and get ahead of the field. Her innate ability will allow her to make her the favorite for the 100-meter race.
However, her quest for the double in the 200 meters will be based on her ability to maintain form and top-end speed on the home stretch. If she can execute, then the historic double at age 34 may be on the cards.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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