Fraser-Pryce still in the running

November 15, 2022
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Jamaica's multiple World Championships and Olympic Games gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is still in the running for the World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year award, after being named among five finalists yesterday.

Fraser-Pryce, during the year, claimed her fifth World Championships 100 metres title and produced stunning fast times at the age of 35, to be among the five finalists. Jamaica's World Championships 200 metres winner Shericka Jackson was omitted, after being selected on the 10-person shortlist last month.

The other finalists for the award include World Championships and Olympic Games 400 metres hurdles champion and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, World Championships 100 metres hurdles champion and world record holder Tobi Amusan, World Championships and Olympic Games triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas and World Championships 20 kilometres walk champion, Kimberly Garcia.

Fraser-Pryce won the title in 2013 and could join former Olympic champions Yelena Isinbayeva, Sanya Richards-Ross and Marion Jones as athletes who have won the award multiple times. Isinbayeva has the most wins with three. No Jamaican athlete has won the award more than once.

When the shortlist of nominees was revealed last month, local coaches believed that it is the strongest field of candidates in years, with a tough path for Fraser-Pryce with both McLaughlin-Levrone and Amusan breaking world records this year.

However, former World champion sprint hurdler Brigitte Foster-Hylton says that Fraser-Pryce stands a good chance of winning based on the body of work that saw her near unstoppable this year.

"I think whoever wins will be very deserving of the award. I'm very proud of her. She has done so much. No one in history has ever done what she has done. So she stands a very good chance," Foster-Hylton said.

Fraser-Pryce clocked seven sub-10.7 seconds this season, including her 10.67 championship record performance at the World Championships in Eugene.

Even with McLaughlin-Levrone lowering the world record twice to staggering levels, the final one being in Eugene in 50.68 and Amusan's surprising 12.12 in the semi-finals, Foster-Hylton says that the prestige of the sprint and Fraser-Pryce's dominance gives her an edge.

"It's the event that everyone goes to the World Championships or the Olympics to see. I think her being so dominant puts her in good standing. Yes, they have broken the world records but the fact that she has dominated the 100 metres, that is outstanding," Foster-Hylton said.

The winner will be announced at the World Athletic Awards on December 5.

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