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Can SFP be stopped in Paris?

Published:Saturday | July 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (SFP) faces a hot field in the 100m at the Paris Diamond League with joint world leader English Gardner, Blessing Okagbare and Murielle Ahoure among the threats.

Noted athletics coach and analyst Raymond 'KC' Graham squares off with André Lowe on today's hot topic:

Can SFP be stopped in Paris?

André: Alright. let me just get straight to it; there's no way Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce loses this race to English Gardner or anyone else!

Raymond: We all know that Shelly is in great form at the moment, but the question is, does her coach want her to focus on winning here or will she just be working on a specific area?

André: Everybody is working on one thing or the other at this stage, so it doesn't matter, the key thing is that Shelly's start - her biggest weapon, is sharp again and, with her strength, this will make the difference.

Raymond: The thing is, we have seen in the past where, leading up to major championships, Shelly-Ann follows up a brilliant performance with a substandard one.

André: Hmmm ... I don't know that there is a consistent-enough pattern to make that a serious point, but Shelly-Ann showed impressive form at trials, killing the race after 40m and holding her form. She's looking ominous, I wouldn't be surprised by another big time here.

Raymond: I understand what you are saying, but does Franno (Stephen Francis) really want her to run much faster now or will he hold her back until Beijing, despite saying in an interview that he was disappointed she didn't run faster at trials?

Also, do not underestimate English Gardener, because she is also in very good form. She did 10.84 the same day Shelly did 10.81 in Eugene and they both clocked 10.79 on the same day as well.

André: English has looked very good and has matured a lot since 2013. Blessing Okagbare is also primed to go fast, but I think this race will be won by the person with the best first 60m, which also makes Murielle Ahoure dangerous. Anyway, I'm picking Shelly-Ann to win this race in 10.8 mids.

Raymond: I am leaning to Shelly-Ann for the win, but if she doesn't get her usual good start, she will be beaten by Ahoure or Gardner.