'I got it right' - Fraser-Pryce keeps World Indoors 60m gold in Jamaica
Now only the second woman to win the 60m, 100m, and 200m trio of World titles, Jamaican superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is a little surprised at her gold medal run in the 60m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships (WIC) at the Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland, yesterday.
It was the highlight of a day that yielded three medals for Jamaica as the island closed its account with five - one gold, two silver, two bronze - matching its second-best medal tally at these championships.
Fraser-Pryce, competing in only her first WIC and eighth indoor 60m race after taking up the event last season, stopped the clock in a stunning 6.98 seconds to win ahead of Murielle Ahoure of the Cte d'Ivoire, 7.01; and the United States' Tianna Bartoletta, 7.06.
The pocket-sized Fraser-Pryce also became the seventh- fastest woman over the distance in history and the second-fastest Jamaican behind Merlene Ottey, (6.96).
Veronica Campbell-Brown, the only other woman to win every sprint title at the World Championships level, could not successfully defend the title she won at the 2010 and 2012 WIC, finishing fifth in a season best 7.13 after nine months off the track.
"If I said I wasn't surprised, I would be lying. I knew I could do well once I got the start, so I was more focused on getting that start," said Fraser-Pryce in response to questions from The Gleaner.
"It wasn't coming together in the first two rounds, but I just relied on past experience and just focused in the final, and I think I got it right.
"I'm just happy that I got the chance to compete at my first indoor championships and I won a gold medal, so I'm just humbled and thanking God at the same time for the talent that he has blessed me with," added Fraser-Pryce.
"I feel good and blessed, very humbled. I just wanted to come out here to represent myself and my country and do well. That is always the goal, and I came out here and did my best, and it's a great feeling," she continued.
Ahoure also showered praises on Fraser-Pryce, who was beating her for the first time in their three 60m face-offs.
"When you line up with Shelly-Ann, you know it's going to be tough because she is simply that good," said Ahoure.
Jamaica won additional medals in the 4x400m relays.
On the back of a strong third leg from 400m silver medallist Kaliese Spencer and Stephenie McPherson particularly, Jamaica's women's 4x400m team, which was completed by Patricia Hall and Anneisha McLaughlin, turned in a new national indoor record and Commonwealth record, 3:26.54, for the silver medal behind the United States, 3:24.83, with Great Britain and Northern Ireland taking the bronze in 3:27.90.
The men's 4x400m team of Errol Nolan, Allodin Fothergill, Ahkeem Gauntlett, and Edino Steele also secured a podium spot, crossing the line in third place for the bronze medal in 3:03.69 - also a national indoor record.
The gold medal was won by the United States in a world indoor record time of 3:02.13, with Great Britain and Northern Ireland taking the silver in 3:03.49.
Sprint hurdler Andrew Riley was unable to take his lane in the men's 60m hurdles final after reportedly injuring his ankle while leaving the arena the previous night.
American Omo Asaghae ran a world-leading 7.45 to take gold, and the Frenchmen, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (7.46) and Garfield Darien (7.47), took silver and bronze, respectively.
Cuba, with three medals and The Bahamas with two medals - one silver and one bronze - were the other Caribbean countries on the medal table.
The United States topped the table with 12 medals, including eight gold, followed by Russia, Ethiopia, Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Jamaica.
Jamaica's five-medal return at the WIC was only bettered at the 1997 (Paris) and 2001 (Lisbon) championships, where six medals were claimed. The country also won five medals at the 2005 (Budapest) installment.