By Neto Baptiste
Work hard, be consistent and have patience is the advice that top international women’s sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, is sharing with young ambitious sprinters across the region.
The Jamaican superstar offered the words of encouragement during an exclusive interview with OBSERVER media’s Good Morning Jojo Sports Show this week in which she urged the Caribbean’s prospective stars to never give up on their dreams.
“I would definitely say it takes a lot of work but most of all its patience, it’s knowing that your time will come and once you know that your time will come then it means that you have to consistently put in the work and be diligent. It’s not about showing up today and doing the right things and then tomorrow you don’t feel like it so you don’t,” she said.
“It’s about consistently putting in the work and therefore when your time comes you will know and you would be ready for that time and if you’re passionate about it then it will work so don’t lose that passion. There will be good days and bad days but you just have to keep the same mindset,” she added.
Fraser-Pryce, who is well-known and loved for her choice of colourful wigs during marquee events, was the first Caribbean woman to win 100 meters gold at the Olympics. In 2012, she became the third woman in history to successfully defend an Olympic 100 meters title.
The athlete took a break from athletics in 2017 to have her first child but returned to become the oldest woman and second mother ever to win 100 meters gold at a global championship when she achieved the feat at the 2019 World Championships, at the age of 32.
The Jamaican said she is, however, not done and has her sights at breaking a so far elusive barrier of dipping below her current personal best of 10.70 seconds in the 100 meters.
“Running a personal best will take me to 10.6 and that would definitely be a boost in terms of female sprinting and for me, I am just hoping that this is the year it will be done. I am working towards it and not just on the track but also mentally, not to focus too much on the time but to know that it is there and I just need to execute. So for me that’s where my headspace is in terms of what I am looking forward to accomplishing this year,” she said.
Asked if she feels pressured to deliver at this year’s Olympic Games slated for Tokyo, Japan, the athlete said simply, she is too focused to feel pressured.
“For me, God has been good and I had a remarkable year last year and for me it’s just pushing the barrier a little bit more to see what else I can accomplish, and that includes working hard and most importantly, having fun and not trying to pressure myself,” she said.
Fraser-Pryce is the only sprinter to be crowned world champion over 100 meters four times, winning in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019. Since 2008, the Jamaican has won four of the five World Championship 100 meters titles she has contested, as well as two of the last three Olympic 100 meters titles. She is the second female sprinter to hold world and Olympic 100 meters titles simultaneously and the first woman to hold dual titles on two separate occasions.