Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is juggling being the fastest woman alive with motherhood as she bids for a third 100m Olympics gold 13 years after her first triumph.
The 34-year-old, who stands 1.52 metres (5 feet) tall, is set for a mouthwatering clash in Tokyo with compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah and Britain’s 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith.
US sprint star Sha’Carri Richardson was ruled out of the 100m in Japan after testing positive for marijuana at the US Olympic trials.
Fraser-Pryce won the first of her two Olympic 100m titles in Beijing way back in 2008, becoming the first Jamaican to win the event after previous generations of sprinters including Merlene Ottey and Juliet Cuthbert came up short.
She won her first world championships title in 2009 before her career was disrupted by a six-month ban the following year after she tested positive for banned substance oxycodene, which she said was as a result of medication for toothache.
Fraser-Pryce retained her 100m Olympic crown in London in 2012 but failed in her hat-trick bid at Rio in 2016, taking bronze behind Thompson-Herah.
She subsquently took time out to have a baby but returned in style to win a fourth 100m world title in 2019, also taking gold in the 4x100m relay, which was her ninth world championships gold.
The Jamaican veteran comes to Tokyo in fine fettle after running a personal best of 10.63 seconds in “super spikes” in June to become the second-fastest woman of all time behind late US sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner, who timed 10.49sec.
“(A time of) 10.6 has been a dream, a goal,” she said. “I’ve been working so hard, been so patient and to see it finally unfold, I’m just ecstatic.”
Fraser-Pryce grew up in a deprived area of Jamaica’s capital Kingston plagued by gang violence and has spoken about how she did not always have enough to eat.
The sprinter has a degree in child and adolescent development and is passionate about improving children’s lives.
UNICEF Jamaica named her as a goodwill ambassador in 2010, calling her “one of the nation’s most accomplished female athletes and a passionate defender of children’s rights”.
She is involved in charity work in the Caribbean, striving to improve the lives of children through initiatives including her “Pocket Rocket” foundation, which helps young athletes.
Fraser-Pryce has a lot on her plate but nothing will distract her as she strives to make history in Tokyo and match the exploits of fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt, who won three gold medals in the men’s 100m.
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