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Legacy secured: Fraser-Pryce, legend

Published:Monday | August 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica’s gold medal winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce stamping her class in the women's 100m final during the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing yesterday.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s mother, Maxine Simpson, make a sprint in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, after watching her daughter win the 100m women’s final at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing China yesterday.
As if she could hear them, Jamaicans in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, urging on as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as she speeds towards the finish line in the 100m women’s final at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China yesterday.


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Legend.

Six World Championships and two Olympic gold medals in addition to four silver medals split evenly between the two events, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been laying the blocks to her legacy and establishing herself among the greatest ever.

It is quite fitting that Jamaica's little sprinting jewel would take her latest stride inside Beijing's unmistakable gem of a stadium - the Bird's Nest - the venue where she introduced herself to the world seven years ago during the Olympic Games.

Back then, eyes wide with excitement and right arm lifted high, Fraser-Pryce left the red Mondo (track) as a champion.

In 2008, no one saw her coming.

Last night, Fraser-Pryce again left the familiar track as champion, this time as the only woman with three 100m world titles. But no one was surprised; it was Fraser-Pryce vs the clock.

"I would say it's special winning again here in Beijing," Fraser-Pryce smiled after her win. "When I came here in 2008, nobody knew who I was; I didn't know who I was. I was just here enjoying the moment, and I won. Coming here, with the things I have won and with the person I am now, kind of put things differently."


winning is not enough


What's different is that simply winning is no longer enough for Fraser-Pryce; rewriting history is.

The time of 10.70, her personal best and the current national record, was her target, but last night's winning time was 10.76 in a negative 0.3 wind. Dafne Schippers was next best with a 10.81 national record for the Netherlands, with American Torie Bowie's late surging 10.86 giving her the bronze.

But neither was close enough to really push the pint-sized Jamaican, who couldn't hide her disappointment with the time, her 11th instance dipping below 10.80 seconds. No Jamaican woman can compare. In fact, only American Marion Jones has more sub-10.80 second clockings than Fraser-Pryce, with 13 of her own.

"To be honest, I'm really excited. I came here and I got the win, but I believe there is more in terms of time that I wanted, but it wasn't to be and, of course, I have a next race and I'm looking forward to getting it there, said Fraser-Pryce. "I know it's there but I have to be patient; it will come. Sometimes things don't come as we plan it, but anyway, I am grateful for the win.

"Maybe, who knows?" said Fraser-Pryce when asked if more pressure from the field could have pushed her to her desired target. "It wasn't to be and it's in the past now, so I'm looking forward to the next opportunity."

In winning last night, Fraser-Pryce also became only the second woman to successfully defend a 100m title at the IAAF World Championships after Jones won titles in Athens in 1997 and Seville in 1999.

Since that night in Beijing in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has dominated like very few before her, taking her medal tally to 12 medals at the Olympics or World Championships level and has won titles at every major championships except for the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.

Small in stature but a giant in the sport. Legacy secured.