Multiple Olympic and world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has advised her fellow Jamaican countrymen to focus on setting their own goals on the track rather than trying to emulate world record holder Usain Bolt.
Fraser-Pryce who is in Monica for the 2021 Wanda Diamond League meeting at the Stade Louis II on Friday (9), was speaking at a press conference for the event on Thursday.
Since Bolt, the eight-time Olympic champion and world record-holder over the 100m and 200m disciplines retired in 2017, the Jamaican male sprinters have struggled at global championships.
Without the guidance of the triple Olympic 100m and 200m champion, the Jamaican men have not been as dominant internationally and Fraser-Pryce is urging the current generation to start focusing on themselves and not to try to be like Bolt.
“They don’t need to think about filling Usain’s shoes,” the two-time Olympic 100m champion said. “Those are huge shoes to fill. They just have to focus on themselves and on showing what they have to offer to the sport.”
Fraser-Pryce, the reigning world 100m champion, is again leading a talented group of Jamaican women sprinters to this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games, and after running personal bests of 10.63s and 21.79s so far this season, the 34-year-old revealed that she’s in the “best shape of my life” heading into Japan.
“I’d definitely say I am in the best shape of my life. I have never run 10.6 before, and what a time for that to happen,” she said.
“It’s been something that I have been working so hard towards to break the 10.7 barrier and to be able to do it under the conditions that I did, I know I am definitely able to go faster.”
After winning back-to-back Olympic 100m titles in 2008 and 2012, and finished third behind compatriot and former training partner Elaine Thompson-Herah at Rio 2016, Fraser-Pryce is aiming for a fourth successive Olympic 100m podium appearance.