Thu | Nov 14, 2019

‘Well-deserved’ - JAAA, MVP welcome Fraser-Pryce’s IAAF award nomination

Published:Wednesday | October 16, 2019 | 1:46 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
World 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with her gold medal after the presentation ceremony at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
World 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with her gold medal after the presentation ceremony at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

President of the Jamaica Ath­letics Administrative Association (JAAA)Dr Warren Blake has heaped praises on star sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and has stated that her nomination for the IAAF World Female Athlete of the Year award is well-deserved following her achievements this season.

Fraser-Pryce clocked a world-leading 10.71 seconds to win gold in the 100m at the recent World Championships in Doha, Qatar, and was part of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning team in the 4x100m relay. She was announced yesterday by the IAAF as one of 11 nominees for the prestigious award.

“I think the IAAF was right to nominate her (Fraser-Pryce) among the top women of the world for this award ... . I think she has a very strong chance of claiming the award,” Blake told The Gleaner.

Although he considers her to be among the main candidates, Blake admitted that it will be tough for the Jamaican to claim top honours, noting that a number of other female athletes also enjoyed an outstanding season.

Blake anticipates that the likes of Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser, The World 400m champion and Diamond League winner; USA’s Dalilah Muhammad, The World 400m hurdles champion and world record holder; and 1.500m and 10,000m World champion Sifan Hassan from The Netherlands will be seen as the frontrunners for the award.

“There is Naser and Dalilah Muhammad, who have done pretty well. Although the women, overall, have done quite well, so we can’t say definitely, she (Fraser-Pryce) is going to win, but she is a strong contender, and I expect her to be among the finalists,” Blake added.

Bruce James, athletics analyst and president of Fraser-Pryce’s training base, the MVP Track Club, agrees that Fraser-Pryce is deserving of her nomination and believes that her chance of winning is as good as any other on the list of nominees.

“I am very pleased that the IAAF has chosen to recognise Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with this high honour. She won this award before in 2013, and to be nominated in 2019, six years after, is a real symbol of Shelly-Ann’s longevity and great talent,” said James.

Fraser-Pryce is one of only two Jamaican women to have won the IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year award. Merlene Ottey was the first Jamaican, male or female, to do so, in 1990.

Fraser-Pryce will be up against 10 other contenders in the female category: Naser, Muhammad, Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya), Katrina Johnson-Thompson (GBR), Hassan, Brigid Kasgei (Kenya), Mariya Mihambo (Germany), Hellen Obiri (Kenya) and Yulimar Rojas (VEN)

The male nominees are Donovan Brazier (US), Chris Coleman (US), Joshua Chetegei (UGA), Timothy Cheruyiot (Ken), Steve Gardiner (Bahamas), Sam Kendricks (USA), Eliud Kipchoge (KEN), Daniel Stahl (SWE), Chris Taylor (US) and Karsten Warholm (Norway).

The IAAF awards ceremony will be held in Monaco on November 23.

Finalists will be determined through a three-way voting process. The IAAF Council and members of the IAAF family (selected media, coaches, athlete representatives, etc) will cast votes by email, while fans will vote via the IAAF’s social-­media ­platforms, where likes and retweets of ­graphics featuring each nominee will count as one vote.