Tue | May 23, 2017

Fraser-Pryce welcomes challenges

Published:Sunday | June 28, 2015 | 6:00 AMAndre Lowe
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reacts after winning the women's 100-metre final at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures Senior National Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Friday night.

There's no doubt who is the queen of sprinting at the MVP Track Club and indeed in Jamaica.

However, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is being kept on her toes and this time, her biggest threat is coming from within.

Still, quite accustomed to defying the odds and fighting for what is hers, Fraser-Pryce is welcoming the competition as she braces for a big test at the place where she first became a champion in Beijing; this time at the World Championships in August.

Fraser-Pryce reclaimed the national 100m title she last won in 2012, with a blistering 10.79 seconds assault on the rest of the field - a time that leaves her tied with American English Gardner as the fastest women on the planet this season.

"I thought I executed well. The field was good as usual and, of course, it wasn't about qualifying for me since I already qualified, but it was about executing a good race and the fact that I missed a couple races because of that hamstring niggle, I just wanted to come out here and put a solid race together," she assessed.

Natasha Morrison, one of an impressive group of young sprinters in the MVP camp, was second in 11.03, with veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown taking third place in 11.06.

Morrison, after several injury-ravaged seasons, finally looks like one who will be testing Fraser-Pryce in the coming years.

MVP newcomer

Interestingly, it is another MVP newcomer - one who was not in the 100m - who has really captured the imagination of track and field fans across the globe and who seems closer to the throne, perhaps even too close for comfort.

Fraser-Pryce is the lone Jamaican to have gone faster than Thompson this year, with the University of Technology student already running 10.84, 10.92 and 10.97 this season.

It is even more reason why her non-entry in the 100m, which would have given her a chance to test Fraser-Pryce here and perhaps in Beijing, was looked upon with such bewilderment.

However, the World and Olympic champion made it clear after her win on Friday night that she did not feel the need to send any messages or reminder of her class, but was equally quick to welcome the challenges being presented by her young training partners.

"There was no message sent. I just came out here to execute my race and take it from there. There are many races to get to the World Championships so nothing is a given. Nothing is put down out there for you; you have to go claim it and work for it," said Fraser-Pryce.

"MVP has always been competitive and, as an athlete, competition is what you need to get better. So it's always good when you have young athletes coming up and doing well, so for me it's not even a question," Fraser-Pryce added.

"Congrats to her (Natasha Morrison). Earlier in the season, she had some setbacks and I must commend her for sticking with it because we will all have trials and obstacles to overcome and I think she did very well to still book her place on the team and I'm sure she will do well.

"I will continue to be an inspiration to all my team-mates. Track is sometimes an unfair sport and anything can happen so we just have to have perseverance," she continued.

Fraser-Pryce will face Thompson and the others in the 200m here.

Her coach has already said she will not be defending that title at the World Championships.

As defending World champion in the 100m and 200m, Fraser-Pryce already has an automatic spot at the World Championships in both events.