'I'll need a PB to win in Beijing'
Only four women has ever dipped below 10.70 seconds in the 100m and having made no secret about her ambitions to join that club, World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is fairly confident that this might be her year.
Fraser-Pryce clocked her personal best 10.70, while winning the event at the 2012 Olympic Games - the joint seventh fastest time in history, and went on to stop the clock at 10.71 a year later en route to gold at the World Championships in Moscow, but the 28 year-old feels she's on course to better her own record and take her place among the sub-10.7 group, which includes world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), Carmelita Jeter (10.64) and Marion Jones (10.65).
Actually, as far as Fraser-Pryce is concerned, improving her personal best is more of a requirement than an ambition. The sprinter believes she will need to run faster than 10.70 if she is to win a third straight World Championships gold medal in the 100m at this year's instalment in Beijing - where she won her first senior international gold - a glistening 100m medallion at the 2008 Olympic Games.
It's hard to argue with her.
Fraser-Pryce shared the fastest time in the world this year with Muriel Ahoure at last weekend's Prefontaine Classics in Eugene, in a race that saw five women dipping below 10.90, with the 'B' race also bringing two 10.84 clockings. In fact, in early June - just a few weeks into the outdoor season proper - six women have recorded times below 10.90.
"I do think I am on course to run a personal best this year. When and where this will happen, I don't know, but each race that comes, I will, of course, execute each as if I want to do that," Fraser-Pryce told The Gleaner from Rome where she is expected to run in the 200m at today's IAAF Diamond League meet inside the Olympic Stadium.
"I definitely think it will take a time below 10.70 to get the gold medal at the World Championships in Beijing," Fraser-Pryce added. "I'm working towards that and God willing, it will happen, but for now, I'm just working on each race at a time."
With competition strong at home (her training partner Elaine Thompson has run below 11 seconds three times already this season) and abroad, as Ahoure, Tori Bowie, English Gardener and Blessing Okagbare are all showing fine early season form - Fraser-Pryce is more than aware that she will need an honest effort each time she steps on track, if she is to finish ahead of the rest.