Sat | Jul 31, 2021

Rocket science

Walcott ponders how to get more out of Fraser-Pryce after record run

Published:Monday | June 7, 2021 | 12:14 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (right) crosses the finish line ahead of Natasha Morrison to clock a national record of 10.63 seconds in the women’s 100m sprint at the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series at the National Stadium on Saturday.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (right) crosses the finish line ahead of Natasha Morrison to clock a national record of 10.63 seconds in the women’s 100m sprint at the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series at the National Stadium on Saturday.
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The big run by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the third leg of the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series is proof that the four-time World 100m champion is on the rise. That’s the analysis from her coach, Reynaldo Walcott, who is delighted that the star...

The big run by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the third leg of the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series is proof that the four-time World 100m champion is on the rise. That’s the analysis from her coach, Reynaldo Walcott, who is delighted that the star sprinter is now the fastest female 100m sprinter alive.

Smiling as he spoke hours after Fraser-Pryce lowered the national record she jointly held with Elaine Thompson Herah at 10.70 seconds to 10.63s, Walcott used her winning time from the Doha Diamond League meet on May 28 as a reference point.

“That 10.84s form wouldn’t disappear overnight, so she could go a little faster than that today, or a little slower than that today, but who knows,” Walcott told The Gleaner. “I mean, she happened to go two-tenths faster, but it’s not strange for people to run better as they run more, but how much better is a next thing all by itself.

“To run a PB (personal best) is a next thing by itself, but I’m happy for her. She was able to do that, and, you know, as the races go by, she generally executes better,” the St Elizabeth Technical High School sprints and hurdles expert said of Fraser-Pryce after her fifth race of the season.

“I watched it over and over, and I compared it to some other races, [and] you didn’t see sharpness. You didn’t see high cadence. It was like a run where she worked hard and ran. You didn’t look like someone firing on all cylinders, and I’m, like, ‘Yeah, you ran, but I haven’t seen that electricity out of you yet’.”

The Olympic Destiny blitz was different.

“I saw that today, not because of the time, but because it looked like how somebody would look when they’re running fast,” Walcott said.

Even so, he sees room for improvement.

“There’s still stuff that I haven’t seen yet. I remember watching Shelly-Ann on television in 2008 and the dramatic start. I haven’t seen that yet. It will probably come, hopefully,” he said.

The fast time vaulted Fraser-Pryce past American Sha’Carri Richardson’s world-leading time of 10.72s, but it won’t change Walcott’s training plan.

“If the problem I have is that you’ve run too fast already, then it’s a better problem to deal with I think than, shoot, you’re not looking fast enough for the task that is coming up,” he replied to queries about Fraser-Pryce’s training between now and the National Senior Championships.

“So I have to find a positive way to look at everything, and the next thing is if she’s peaked too early, okay, for how long can you hold a peak for, and if you’re slightly off your peak at 10.6, you can still survive.”

Fraser Pryce trails only world record holder Florence Griffith Joyner on the all-time performance list. The flamboyant American logged times of 10.49s, 10.61s, and 10.62s in 1988.

sports@gleanerjm.com