Insatiable hunger and even greater motivation are what seven-time IAAF World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce said are driving her to be on the podium at the 2019 World Championships in Doha in September.
The 32-year-old Jamaican was addressing members of the media in Lausanne on the eve of the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on Friday where she will take on a strong field of women including 2018 European champion Dina Asher-Smith, Dafne Schippers and Marie Josee Ta Lou.
The three-time world 100m champion ran a world-leading 10.73s at the Jamaican National Championships on June 21, finishing second to Elaine Thompson who was also credited with the same time.
In explaining how she has managed to rebound to near her best form after an almost two-year hiatus during which time she gave birth to her son, Zyon, Fraser-Pryce said a lot of hard work and desire that got her there.
“When I came back in 2018, I was just patient and taking my time to come back and then in 2019 I just really, head down, tried to stay focused. I was still very hungry, hungry to achieve, to push myself to good times and have a fantastic season.”
Now that she is a mom and even though she has already accomplished so much in her career – two Olympic 100m titles and seven world titles – the Jamaican national record holder said she is not short of motivation to achieve even more.
“My motivation is definitely stronger than before because as female athletes, a lot of times we tend to put our families on hold because we are so afraid of taking the time to start a family because a lot of persons believe you can’t come back from having a baby,” she said.
“So, for me, my motivation was definitely stronger to show that we as female athletes, once we believe that we can we have to put in the work. We also have to set a standard, not just for me but for other female athletes to understand that persons will sometimes have their opinions on what you’re able to do or what you can’t do and it’s up to you to push that barrier and just dig deep.”
She said her time away from the sport helped refresh her after more than a decade of high-level competition.
“Being an athlete for over 11 years definitely takes a toll on you and having that break was really a refresher for me as an athlete and now that I am back having my son that is even more motivation and hopefully he will be able to see his mom standing on the podium in Doha.”
By: Leighton Levy