Two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce arrived in Nairobi for her 100 meters season-opener where she is slated to take on Sha’Carri Richardson at the 2022 Absa Kip Keino Classic on Saturday (7).
Images of Fraser-Pryce began to circulate in the media almost immediately after her arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday (4) and the Jamaican is already looking forward to competing in front of her Kenyan fans at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.
The 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champion usually stays closer to home during her early preparations for major championships, but she revealed that her Kenyan supporters on her Facebook page persuaded her to compete at this year’s Absa Kip Keino Classic, which is part of the 2022 World Athletics Continental Gold Tour series.
Fraser-Pryce is aiming to repay her fans with a fast time in Kasarani, this weekend.
“My huge base of Kenyan fans on my social media pages have for long been requesting me to come compete in Kenya,” Fraser-Pryce was quoted as saying in the Nation.
“I want to repay that with a promise of a good, exciting and fast race of course.”
Fraser-Pryce opened her 2022 season with a comfortable 22.79 seconds performance at the 2022 MVP Velocity Fest 11 meeting last month and she is now hoping to put up a “solid” performance “with good execution” in her 100m season debut.
“The world talks about Kenya being the home of athletics and I definitely wanted to come here and open my season in 100m,” she said. “Hopefully, I will be able to put up a solid race with good execution.”
“I also know that Kenya has 42 tribes but the Maasais are the most famous. That is why I look forward to Kenya’s great hospitality,” added the Jamaican sprint legend.
She also said: “I want to execute my technique the best way possible to make sure I get my core times and targets.”
Fraser-Pryce, a nine-time world champion, including four 100m dash titles, is rightfully regarded as one of the greatest sprinters of all time, but she remains hungry for more global success and is even targeting a possible world record this year.
“I definitely think anything is possible this season after I had a good season, striking the third-fastest time ever after the Tokyo Olympics,” said Fraser-Pryce, who will aim to defend her world 100m title at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, later this summer.
“I am glad I never stopped even after I gave birth to my son. I believed in a dream. I believe I can run 10.50 hence I am working towards that.
“It’s about passion and belief. I am still in it and enjoying the moment as I look forward to adding more accolades to that.”
Sha’Carri Richardson has been listed as one of the top sprinters who will take on Fraser-Pryce at the 2022 Absa Kip Keino Classic on Saturday, but it is still left to be seen if the American will feature after pulling out of her last two scheduled meetings.