If there was any doubt about who will most likely be 100m women’s world champion this summer in Moscow, Shelly Ann Frazer-Pryce put it to rest after her stirring 10.93 run in Shanghai on Saturday. The pocket rocket, who is yet to lose this season on the international circuit following two 200-metre wins and Saturday’s impressive run, has made it known that she intends to dominate women’s sprinting this year. And with the fastest woman of this era, Carmelita Jeter going down with injury and notwithstanding the presence of a slimmed down Veronica Campbell Brown, there may be no one who will stand in SAFP’s way this year.
Since 2008, Frazer-Pryce has won two Olympic 100-metre titles, an Olympic silver in the 200 metres as well as the World title back in 2009. That resume already makes her one of the most special female sprinters in history. Her times in those gold medal runs 10.78, 10.73 and 10.70, puts her in an even more unique category. Except for 2011, when injury saw her finishing fourth in the 100m in Daegu, Frazer-Pryce has demonstrated that she is hard to beat at major championships. From this point on, she may be telling the world of female sprinters that if they are not ready to produce 10.6s, she will be invincible.
There were signs early this season that the Pocket Rocket was in line to have perhaps her most dominant season. With school and her injuries behind her, the tiny Wolmerian is beginning to impose her giant will on the world of track and field. Since her success in London last year when she won a close battle over Jeter (10.78) and Veronica Campbell Brown (10.81), the recent Utech graduate has began to blossom. She is no longer the child that in 2008 many Jamaicans felt should have given up her place to allow her more seasoned countrywoman to compete in Beijing, she is now a woman of means and a woman of great confidence. The world saw that on Saturday.
Over the last couple of seasons, Frazer-Pryce has added the 200m to her repertoire and in doing so has gradually improved her speed endurance for the 100m. We have seen her times steadily come down to the point where she can deliver 10.70s in an Olympic 100m final. The bad news for her rivals is that this season she seems to be better than ever. After cruising to a 22.38s run in Kingston at the Jamaica International Invitational (JII), the third fastest time in the world this year, SAFP ran a pedestrian but slightly windy 22.48s in Doha just over a week ago. Both races were less than perfect in execution but what was evident was that she had a lot left in the tank and would have produced better times with better execution.
Opening her 100m season with a 10.93s in less than ideal sprinting conditions and in negligible wind, sends an ominous message. It says the Pocket Rocket is about to launch and everyone in her wake is about to get burnt.