Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is singing praises to the Father. She lost her 100 metres Olympic Games title in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday evening (Aug 13), but is still happy, much of this she credits to him.
It was a rough year for the two-time 100 metres gold medallist, during which, a toe injury prevented her from training properly and reduced her season considerably, although for many of her track and field peers, her bronze medal won, would have been such a remarkable achievement.
For Fraser-Pryce, however, it could be considered somewhat anticlimactic, as she was chasing history. Another victory in her pet event, would mean that she would have been the first woman to ever win an Olympic track and field gold medal in the same event at three Olympic Games.
Listed among the all-time greats in the sport, Fraser-Pryce believes that despite not achieving that objective, this is her most pleasing medal, having to battle through all the tribulations that she faced to achieve it.
She said, “first of all, I didn’t think that I would have been here at the championships. It was a tough journey and continue to be a very hard journey, but tonight (Saturday) before I got to the line, I said it was his will. It was God’s will. It didn’t matter to me to be honest, I just wanted the opportunity to defend my title and it was really really hard.
“By far I would definitely say that this is my best championship ever, because I knew how hard I worked. I knew the pain, the sacrifices and the tears.”
“I knew everything and despite everything, I stuck to it and I toughed it out and kept my head in the game, even when the odds were against me. I am really happy that I persevered and it was just a remarkable time for me,” she said.
Fraser-Pryce, who, with her usual good start, was leading at one stage during the final, but faded towards the end, lost her title to Jamaican training partner at MVP Track Club, Elaine Thompson, with the two sandwiching Tori Bowie of the United States of America. Thompson was timed in 10.71 seconds, with Bowie doing 10.83 to pip Fraser-Pryce, who did 10.86, on the line for second.
Fraser-Pryce said, “one of the things I am happy about is the fact that Elaine got the opportunity to cross the line and get a gold medal and I am really happy for her. I have seen her worked hard and it was her time. In 2008 it was my time. In 2016 it is her time and I am happy that Jamaica get the gold medal. We get to keep the gold medal.”
Quizzed about the toe injury, Fraser-Pryce downplayed the effect it had on her during the final although she admitted that it hurt a lot during her semifinal heat, which she won.
“It was really difficult. I cried (after the semi) because it was really unbearable, but I knew I had one more race to go and I just prayed and I said ‘God if it is to be, it will be’. I am really really happy.”
“I cannot begin to explain how happy I am to be able to stand on the podium after having a year like this.
“I hate talking about my toe. I hate talking about pain. I hate all of that, because it is part of athletics and I would never want to take someone’s shine and this is Elaine’s time and I am really happy for her.
“It is part of the journey and as an athlete there are many times you will have 60 per cent, you will have 100 per cent and tonight I am just really happy and all the glory goes to God for everything that has happened and I am blessed. I have accomplished so much. I think this is my greatest medal ever,” Fraser-Pryce said.
She continued, “when I started my season in 2015 looking forward to this moment, I never imagined that something like this would happen. I was just excited about being able to defend my title and then the unexpected happened.
“Looking back, I have accomplished so much and if I had the opportunity to sit and to write this story, I would think it wouldn’t even happen. So to be able to stand on the podium, to be able to stand with Elaine also, is a wonderful feeling,” she said.
According to Fraser-Pryce she will be consulting a number of doctors about the injury after the Olympic Games, where she will be using the rest of days, to “hopefully” prepare for Jamaica’s 4×100 metres race.
She also had a lot of praise for coach Stephen Francis. She said, “Stephen is a great coach. We have our difficulties. This year was very difficult for both of us. I am happy that he was able to guide me on a lot of my greatest accomplishments. He is an incredible coach and I know he is going to be a great coach and continue to be a great coach and I am thankful.”
And will see be at the 2020 Games?
“Right now I am just trying to get through the night. Trying to recover and to get some sleep. 2020 is a far way off and I normally just think about the year after. Hopefully I will be able to cross this barrier right now and then look forward to next year,” she concluded.