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World Athletics Championships 2019: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on motherhood, hair and medals

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica

“He gives the energy in my life and makes everything easier, and he gives me that extra motivation to keep going,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“Motherhood is time-consuming and a lot of work but I have a great team – my husband and I definitely see eye to eye on what’s important and getting the balance right between family life and track, and we make it work and make time for each other.

“I get home from practice and sometimes my son is exhausting but it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything else because he’s actually made me better at what I do and a lot more relaxed by remembering that after a race, there’s still more to life.”

Fraser-Pryce missed the last World Championships in London in 2017, with Zyon born the day after the women’s 100m final.

A mere 11 months after giving birth, Fraser-Pryce sped to a swift 10.98 to rank 10th in the world last year, and she says her renewed enjoyment for the sport is thanks to her son.

“He brings the excitement to my training and it’s a huge blessing to have my son watch me,” she said, having recently released a children’s book called ‘I am a promise’, based on the life lessons she has learned as an athlete.

“Zyon goes to the track – he loves to get in the long jump pit with sand in his hair as I run by, and all I can tell my team-mates is ‘don’t let him run across the track’ because he’s pretty fast. He makes training lighter for me and it’s fun.

“I once put my medals on him to try and get a picture and he was just like ‘No!’ because they’re heavy and were weighing him down – but give him a football and he’s all over it.”

Targeting both the 100m and 200m events in Doha next week, Fraser-Pryce will face stiff opposition from triple European sprint champion Asher-Smith and her Jamaican team-mate Elaine Thompson – the Olympic champion in both disciplines and with whom she shares the 100m world leading time of 10.73.

Fourth in the 2017 world 200m final, 23-year-old Asher-Smith caused a surprise by beating Fraser-Pryce over the shorter event in Brussels earlier this month, during a superb season which has also brought her additional Diamond League wins over 200m in Doha and Stockholm, and impressive runner-up spots in Rome (100m), Lausanne (100m), London (100m), Birmingham (200m) and Zurich (200m).

The 27-year-old Thompson has been victorious in Rome (100m), Paris (100m) and London (200m), in addition to claiming the Jamaican national titles in both events this summer.

Fraser-Pryce – a world 200m champion in 2013 – has enjoyed victories over 100m in Lausanne and London, and remains confident despite the younger generation snapping hard at her heels.

“I’ve been doing this a very long time and I’m getting older, so it’s a real privilege to be able to run with such great ladies,” she said.

“But I also always make sure I bring the fire and jump right in – Doha is a big one for me and I’m enjoying each day and the process, and trusting that God has something great in store.”

Whatever happens on the track in Doha, Fraser-Pryce will be sure to make a separate statement. She is known for frequently changing the colour of her hair during the track season and takes great pride and enjoyment from it, especially at major championships.

Having showcased pink hair at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, she then went on to launch her own hair business. She sported a green hairstyle at the 2015 edition in Beijing and has since opened a salon.

“My coach says I like hair more than running and he’s right because I get so excited to colour my hair, especially for championships,” she said.

“I’m excited for the colour I’ll wear for Doha and sometimes I get so into it all, I forget I’m going there to run.

“I have a hair line and shampoo, conditioner, soaps – the whole works. It’s a big passion for me, I believe that your hair’s an accessory and you can do so many things to it. I want to be able to accentuate the beauty of any woman no matter what you choose to do with your hair and at the same time, nourish what you have underneath your wigs, extensions or braids.

“Hair is definitely something that makes me happy and more bubbly, it brings out that glow in me.”

About Oluwadamilare Funsho

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