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Mom is the word for sprint queen Fraser-Pryce!

It took a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice to come back after motherhood, says the Jamaican.
Jamaicas Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce Wins The Gold In The Womens 100m Race At The Iaaf World Championships In Doha On Sunday
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins the gold in the women’s 100M race at the IAAF World Championships in Doha on Sunday. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

With her son Zyon in one hand and the Jamaican flag in the other, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made a statement on Sunday on behalf of all mothers who thrive in similar balancing acts in life.

The toddler has been her source of strength for the last two years and the flag, a source of pride all her career. No further spur was required for the little Jamaican powerhouse as she outclassed the 100M field on day three of the 17th World Championships in athletics at the Khalifa International Stadium.

The look of sheer delight never left her face for the rest of the evening, and she had ample reasons for it. The Jamaican had nailed all her doubters who felt she was past her prime after becoming a mother two years ago.

“When I heard people say I should call it a day, I just knew I wasn’t ready to go. I knew I had something left to do. I never lost focus on the goal and the dream,” said the 32-year-old whose winning time of 10.71sec was the fastest in the world this year and just shy of her personal best of 10.70.

“Tonight was one of those moments I’m really proud of, because for women in athletics, it’s very hard to take a break and come back to sprinting. It took a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice,” she said.

Just prior to Fraser-Pryce’s scorching run, another mother had left her mark on the track, with Allyson Felix striking success in the 4x400M mixed relay for her 12th gold at the World Championships. The American surpassed Usain Bolt’s tally of 11 gold with her feat. A couple of hours later, the number of triumphant mothers rose to three as China’s Liu Hong claimed the 20km walk gold a few kilometres down the road on Doha’s Corniche Street.
Fraser-Pryce had stormed the world stage alongside Usain Bolt at the 2008 Olympics, winning the 100M. She repeated the feat at London 2012, besides claiming 100M gold medals at the 2009, 2013 and 2015 World Championships, 200M gold in 2013 and three gold medals in 4x100M relay. Her latest victory has taken the gold count to eight, earning her the status of a legend.

It hasn’t been easy, especially after becoming a mother.
“It was hard. I was really scared when I had to do a C-section and was out for nearly 10 weeks. I was unable to lift weights on my back. So it was a long journey coming back physically and mentally because I was 30 and everyone else was running fast. I was worried about whether I was going to come back OK. I just really worked hard,” said Fraser-Pryce.

Her victory lap, with a quiet Zyon too young to know the significance of his mother’s achievement, was one of the endearing moments of these championships.

“Having Zyon being able to witness tonight is definitely a moment I’ll cherish. He reminded me of how much I had to work and fight as a woman. The world believes you should wait until you’re finished to have a baby, but I had other plans,” she said.

Fraser-Pryce was dominant right through the rounds, winning the first round in 10.80sec and the semifinal in 10.81, despite easing up towards the finish in both the races. But her mind was anything but calm overnight.

“I was feeling tired because I didn’t get any sleep last night, which was so weird for me. I was just trying to make sure I ran the rounds as best as I could. I’m an experienced athlete and I just did what I needed to do tonight,” she said.

Fraser-Pryce has a chance to win another gold when she lines up in the 4x100M relay. She pulled out of the 200M, as her coach felt she wasn’t fully ready for the longer sprint. But the lightning-quick mom isn’t done with her track career yet.

“My coach made the decision to skip the 200 because he believes I’m not really back as yet and he didn’t want to push me too much. But we can definitely do the double in 2020,” she added.

If she runs as fast as she did in Doha in the coming season, no one can stop her from doing the double in Tokyo 2020.