Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: Sprinter confident of closing in on 100m world record

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Although there's been some speculation over Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's retirement, the sprinting icon isn't ready to hang up her spikes just yet.

With eight Olympic medals and nine World Championships to her name, the Jamaican has enjoyed a hugely decorated track career since her breakthrough in 2008.

She entered the Tokyo Olympics and bettered her 100m bronze medal finish from Rio 2016 – placing second behind compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah in the final, who recorded a time of 10.61 to become the fastest woman alive.

With focus now shifted firmly onto the 2022 World Championships, Fraser-Pryce is eager to defend her crown as the reigning 100m champion. 

Despite approaching the age where most athletes consider calling time on their competitive careers, the track star believes she 'owes it to herself and the next generation of women' to keep pushing.

"I'm at the peak of my career," she said in an interview with Sky Sports News. "I said to my husband and my coach, it's so strange because I've heard of people when they are about to retire they say they're feeling so much pain.

"And while you understand their journey, I'm looking at it like, I still feel good! And if I feel good, why not go for it?"

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Although she was snubbed of an Olympic gold in the 100m in Tokyo, Fraser-Pryce ran a new personal best time of 10.60 seconds, becoming the third fastest woman in history.

Her second place finish also made her the first ever athlete, male or female, to medal in four consecutive 100m sprint events at the Games.

Competing alongside her fellow Jamaican Thompson-Herah, the 34-year-old is locked in a thrilling competition to set a new world record in the 100m. 

Elaine Thompson-Hera and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

The current record is held by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner – a former US track and field athlete. 'Flo-Jo' set the bar at 10.49 seconds in 1988, as well as recording the fastest ever 200m sprint time, which she also holds to this day.

Both Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah are on the cusp of finally breaking the historic record, but it's a matter of who will manage it first.

Fraser-Pryce explained she is taking her career "a year at a time" and admitted she had initially ruled out an Olympic return at Paris 2024.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

"But then after the season and just the progress, you kind of know there's more and you want to take it a year at a time, because I'm looking forward to defending my [world] title at 2022 in Oregon.

"After that season, you look again and you're still feeling good then why not give it a shot. Paris 2024, I could definitely see it as a thing.

"I definitely think 10.50 [seconds] is possible."

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Clocking a new personal best of 10.50 would take her within 0.01 seconds of Griffith-Joyner's unrivalled record.

Beyond that, is there room for Fraser-Pryce, one of the world's greatest ever sprinters, to finally break the mould and assert herself as the fastest woman to ever walk the earth?

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