Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce in the womens 100m Finals at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Feature Moscow, Russia

Running 200m helped Fraser-Pryce match Bolt’s feat of regaining World 100m title

A day after watching Usain Bolt regain the World 100m title he had won in 2009, fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce did the same thing as she produced a consummate exhibition of sprinting from the gun to finish two metres clear of the field in a race where five women broke 11 seconds.

The two-time Olympic 100m champion insisted that Bolt’s victory had not put any pressure on her to match it, although she was clearly buoyed up by the latest Jamaican sprinting flourish, which also saw Nesta Carter take the bronze medal behind Bolt.

“This year I said that whatever happened, I just trust in God to give me the strength to go and do what I can do, and I have been training for this,” said Fraser-Pryce.

“I was so happy for Usain, and for Nesta. I was excited for them, but I was just focused on what I had to do and not putting pressure on myself.”

Perhaps not, but Fraser-Pryce has certainly been exercising a lot of extra discipline in her craft this year in order to more thoroughly learn how to run the 200m, which will be her next target at the Luzhniki Stadium.

‘A great starter but not a very good finisher’

“The 200 has helped the 100 quite seriously,” she commented. “Because a lot of persons have said: ‘you are a great starter and not a very good finisher’. So tonight was a very good last 50 metres and that is the focus from the dedication that I had towards the 200 and making it into a passion like the 100.

“Because I love the 100, but I decided I needed the 200 to be better in the 100. And the 100 has helped the 200 as well you know, because I am quicker out of the blocks and if I can maintain it then I think I will be fulfilled. I’m just working on both.

“I wanted to execute a very good race and I’m just so excited that I came out and did that. When I crossed the line I didn’t know I was that far ahead – I was just concentrating on trying to focus on my own hard work.

“Now I am just focused on the 200m. I am taking it one race at a time, because the field is very talented and nobody is coming out there to hand you a medal so I have to work really hard and I am definitely looking forward to the challenge.

“And as far as the 4x100 is concerned, it’s a team effort, so I’m just hoping that we can challenge there too.”

Medal that ‘means a little more’ for Jeter

For the USA’s defending champion, Carmelita Jeter, a bronze medal was a matter of satisfaction given the difficult season she has experienced following the serious thigh strain she suffered in May while running the 100m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai.

“I’m very blessed right now,” Jeter said. “This has to be a medal that means a little more because it’s been a rough year and for me to run what I did, I ran with my heart, and I’m very pleased with myself.”

Meanwhile Murielle Ahore, who finished one place ahead of the American, was reflecting with satisfaction upon being the first African woman to win a sprinting medal at the World Championships.

“I am really excited to be here as an African woman first of all,” she said. “Africa has a struggle when it comes to having tracks, and that’s something I’m hoping to change, especially in my country, because we have got so much talent.

“It’s really good to be an inspiration in this, and to show people that it’s possible for African women to come up to the same level as the huge nations there are here.”

Asked if she felt, given the same level of support, that west Africa could establish the same level in sprinting as east Africa has in endurance running, she replied: “Yes. I definitely think so.”

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF