Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Fraser-Pryce remains positive after placing third

Published:Sunday | July 24, 2016 | 7:32 AMAndre Lowe
Fraser-Pryce
Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou (second left) capturing the women’s 100m final, during at the Diamond League anniversary games at London’s Olympic Stadium yesterday. Ta Lou won in 10.96 seconds from Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye (right), 10.99. Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (not in photograph) was third in 11.06.
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LONDON, England:

Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce described her injury-interrupted season as the most challenging one she has had to experience, but says she is remaining positive as she heads to the Rio Olympics looking to make history.

The sprinter admitted that the setback had taken a huge psychological toll on her, but assured that she has grown in confidence over the past few weeks and is pleased with the signs here in London and at her previous meet in Padova, Italy.

“This is by far one of the toughest years I have had and earlier I wasn’t mentally prepared because I was just all focused on defending my title in Rio and then this happened. For the first couple of months, I was frustrated, angry, upset, and then I realised I have been through so much throughout the years and if it’s to be, it will be,” said Fraser-Pryce. “I have been doing the best I can in training – I have years of experience and will be counting on that when I get to Rio.”

Fraser-Pryce will become the first woman to win three gold medals in the 100m at the Olympic Games with a podium-topping performance in Rio after her successes in Beijing and London, but her preparations have been severely hampered by a stubborn toe injury, which forced her to prematurely end her participation at the Jamaican trials, where she skipped the 200m final.

“I prefer not to talk about my toe because it is what it is and I can’t change anything right now, so I prefer to focus on the process that will get me to Rio, focus on training and what I have to do,” she said.

LOOKING FORWARD

Still, she was in obvious pain after crossing the line in third place in the 100m final at the Muller Anniversary Games inside the London Olympic Stadium yesterday, but is certainly not throwing in the towel on her ambitions in Brazil – giving yesterday’s double assignment a thumbs up.

“To be honest, I am really happy about today. I am glad I came away with two 11.0s times and I’m now just looking forward to the Olympics,” she told The Sunday Gleaner after clocking 11.06 in the final.

The event was won by MarieJosee Ta Lou from Cote d’Ivoire in a personal best 10.96, with Trinidadian Michelle-Lee Ahye taking second in 10.99. Young MVP stable-mate Christania Williams was seventh in 11.19 and Simone Facey ninth in 11.22.

Fraser-Pryce had earlier won her heat in 11.03 ahead of Williams, 11.05, in second.

“Psychologically, I am in a better place because I was really struggling a couple weeks ago and just hoping to get through the national championships. Now I am really confident and comfortable with where I am after running in Padova and here. I’m not 100 per cent where I want to be, but, at the end of the day, you have to use what you have and get there.”

Long jumper Damar Forbes was not too pleased with his 8.05m mark, but was at least happy to again finish in the topthree after his win in Monaco a few days ago. He finished second to Diamond Race leader Gao Xinglong, 8.11m, from China, with Michael Hartfield (USA), 8.01m, taking third.

DISAPPOINTING

He has only jumped shorter than yesterday’s mark at six of his previous 13 meets this season, but that perhaps had to do with him running a leg on Jamaica’s disappointing 4x100m relay team an hour earlier, with that team, which was competed by Michael Frater, Julian Forte and Edward Clarke running fourth in 38.35 behind Great Britain A, 37.78; Great Britain B, 37.81, and Canada, 38.17.

O’Dayne Richards was also disappointing, after he could only manage a 19.99m throw in the shot put, which left him back in seventh, with Joe Kovacs (USA) winning the event with 22.04m.

Aisha Praught, who will be representing Jamaica in Rio in the 1,500m, geared up with a personal best 9:31,75 for fourth place in the 3,000m steeplechase with Tunisian Habiba Ghribi, crossing the line in front in 9:21.35.

British star Mo Farah got the crowd to its feet with a world leading 12:59.29 win in the 5,000m, with Dafne Schippers from The Netherlands dominating the 200m in a time of 22.13 to strengthen her lead in the Diamond Race.