Shelly-Ann “Pocket Rocket” 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 Jamaica, who stands just 1.52 metres (5 feet) tall, is set for a mouth-watering clash in Tokyo with compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah and Britain’s 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith. Barring poor form and bad luck, all three will be lined up in the women’s 100m final on Saturday. Bermuda’s Shaunae Miller-Uibo and American Gabby Thomas could also be in the mix.
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 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 oxycodone, 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.
She subsequently 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.
She arrived in 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.
Tokyo will be Fraser-Pryce’s first Olympics as a mother - she gave birth to her son Zyon in 2017 - and says it has helped her put her life in perspective.
“It doesn’t matter what happens on the field, my biggest accomplishment will always be my son and being able to come back to competition after having my son is also a big accomplishment,” she said.
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