LONDON, England ● Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce became only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic 100 metres titles on Saturday but when she next goes shopping back home in Jamaica she will only be asked about one sprinter. Usain Bolt.
“I’m not one who loves the limelight, but sometimes I go to the supermarket they ask me questions about Usain,” Fraser-Pryce told a news conference after following up her Beijing triumph in 2008.
“Everywhere I go they ask, do you train with Usain?. I don’t. It’s Jamaica…Usain has done a lot, He has broken world records at championships. If he is ahead of me in getting the limelight I don’t mind.”
Bolt gets his chance to follow up his scintillating 100 victory four years ago on Sunday when he faces a likely showdown with compatriot and world champion Yohan Blake, fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell and Americans Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin.
Fraser-Pryce secured the first leg of a probable Jamaican double when a fast start and a late lunge secured gold in 10.75 seconds, ahead of American Carmelita Jeter and Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown.
The 25-year-old said it was not her best race.
“For me it was mixed, I wanted to execute a better race. It wasn’t 100 percent,” she said.
“My coach (John Spring) said I needed to focus on getting a first stride out of the blocks. I think the first 30 metres was really good but in the last 30 my form started to break a little.
“I had a side glimpse and saw somebody coming. I started to lean…I didn’t want to. It wasn’t one of my best executed races.
Fraser-Pryce said her life had been one of “ups and downs” after she served a six-month doping ban for testing positive in 2010 for banned substance oxycodone after using medication for toothache.
“The last two years have been really rough for me,” she said.
“But I stayed focused and grounded in training. It means a lot to defend my title. Thanks to my coach who believed in me more than I think I believed in myself. To excel as an athlete you have to trust your coach… if I knew how to coach I would be doing it.”
Fraser-Pryce joined Americans Wyomia Tyus (1964 and 1968) and Gail Devers (1992 and 1996) as the only women to retain the Olympic 100m title.
“I don’t know much about the history of track and field but I know about Gail Devers,” she said. “It’s good to be in that category.”
Saturday’s final was the first time six women have broken 11 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce will now concentrate on the 200m having never competed at that distance before in a major championships. She will renew her rivalry with Campbell-Brown, Olympic 200 champion in 2004 and 2008.