Photo credits: The Olympic Channel
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (pictured) is a Jamaican track and field sprinter who competes in sprints for the 60 meters, 100 meters, and 200 meters.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest sprinters of all time, her achievements on the track since 2008 helped to elevate Jamaican athletics on the international scene. In the 100 m, her signature event, she is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and a four-time world champion, while in the 200 m, she is an Olympic silver medallist and the 2013 world champion.
A six-time Olympic medallist, Fraser-Pryce rose to prominence at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming the first Caribbean woman to win gold in the 100 m. At the 2012 London Olympics, she became one of only three women in history to defend an Olympic 100 m title. After injury affected her season, she won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the first female sprinter to win 100 m medals at three consecutive Olympics.
At the World Championships, Fraser-Pryce is one of the most decorated athletes in history with 11 medals, including nine gold and two silver. She is the only sprinter, male or female, to win four world titles in the 100 m—in 2009, 2013, 2015, and 2019. Her win in 2019 at the age of 32 made her the oldest female sprinter, and the first mother in 24 years, to claim a global 100 m title.
In 2013, she became the first woman to sweep the 100 m, 200 m, and 4 × 100 m at a single World Championship, and was voted the IAAF World Athlete of the Year. She added the 60 m world title in 2014, making her the only woman to hold World Championship titles in all four events at the same time.
A dominant force in women’s sprinting, Fraser-Pryce has won more global 100 m titles than any other female sprinter in history. Nicknamed the “Pocket Rocket” for her petite stature and explosive block starts, her personal best of 10.70 seconds is the joint fourth-fastest of all time. She has recorded 15 runs below 10.80 s, the most for a female sprinter, and has posted the second most sub-11 s clockings with over 50. World Athletics hailed her as “the greatest female sprinter of her generation.”
In 2019, she was listed among BBC’s 100 inspiring and influential women in the world.
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*BlackThen.com writer and historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.