Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: 7 legendary races she engraved her name in the history books

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is one of the greatest athletes in history

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: 7 legendary races she engraved her name in the history books

Funmilayo Fameso 02:13 - 10.02.2024

Having made it public that her lauded career will end at Paris Olympic Games, here's a look at 7 legendary races Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wrote her name in the history books.

When news broke out that track icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be retiring after the Paris Olympic Games, Jamaican fans and athletics enthusiasts have themed it 'The Last Dance' and have been showing their love for one of the greatest athletes in history.

Fraser-Pryce, whose legendary career has spanned over a decade and a half, made her retirement plans known in an interview with Essence magazine.

The 37-year-old mother of one broke into the world athletics scene after a stunning upset to win the Olympic 100m title at the Beijing 2008 Games. Ever since, she has won nineteen gold medals, ten silver, and three bronze medals across all major championships, excluding the Diamond League, where she has five titles.

With her lauded career set to end in Paris, here's a look at 7 legendary races she wrote her name in the history books.

Beijing 2008: First Olympic 100m title

Fraser-Pryce's breakthrough in 2008 was sudden and unexpected. She became the first Caribbean woman to win Olympic 100m gold, and her winning time of 10.78s was not only an improvement of 0.53s from her previous season's best, but it was also the second-fastest in Olympic history at the time, behind Florence Griffith Joyner's 1988 Olympic Record.

Berlin 2009: First 100m world title

Berlin 2009 witnessed her win her first 100m world title, where she made a flying start and held off a late challenge from Kerron Stewart in a new PB of 10.73s.

Fraser-Pryce held off a late challenge from Kerron Stewart to win 100m title in Berlin

Sports writer Matthew Brown attributed her victory to "one of the most sensational starts ever seen in a major final, as she was a metre and a half clear of the field before a tenth of the race was run.

With the victory, she joined Gail Devers of the USA as the second woman in history to hold the 100m Olympic and world titles simultaneously.

London 2012: Successful Olympic title defence

The second time Fraser-Pryce went to the Olympics not being the favourite to win, as she had a career dip in 2010 and 2011, thus allowing a new sprint sensation in Carmelita Jeter to rise to prominence.

However, she proved that once a champion, will always be a champion by blazing to a successful title defense in 10.75s. The race was one of the fastest Olympic 100m finals ever, placing six women under 11 seconds.

With her win, Fraser-Pryce joined Americans Wyomia Tyus (1964, 1968) and Gail Devers (1992, 1996) as the third woman to defend an Olympic 100m title.

Moscow 2013: First triple gold medals

That year, Fraser-Pryce continued to show consistency by becoming the first woman to sweep the 100m, 200m, and 4x100 m at a single World Championship.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was unstoppable in Moscow

Her 100m victory of 0.22-second margin ahead of silver medallist Murielle Ahouré (10.93s) was the largest in World Championship history.

Claiming her second world title, she became the first woman to win the 100m twice at the Olympics (2008, 2012) and the World Championships (2009, 2013).

Sopot 2014: History made indoors

On the heels of a successful 2013 season, Fraser-Pryce made her World Indoor Championships debut in Sopot, Poland in March 2014.

She left the Polish city as the world indoor champion with a massive PB of 6.98s and became the first woman in history to hold world titles in the 60m, 100m, 200m, and 4x100m at the same time.

Doha 2019: Victory for motherhood

After giving birth to her son Zyon in 2017/2018, Fraser-Pryce returned to Doha and outpaced the field, powering away to her fourth title in a world-leading 10.71s—her fastest time since 2013.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with son Zyon

With this achievement, she became the oldest woman (32) and first mother since Gwen Torrence at the 1995 World Championships to claim a 100m global title. She took satisfaction in her win, calling it "a victory for motherhood," and brought her two-year-old son on her victory lap around the stadium.

Eugene 2022: Age is nothing but a number

At the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, Fraser-Pryce led another Jamaican sweep on the podium for a record-extending fifth 100m title. Her winning time of 10.67s was her quickest 100m in a global final and erased the championship record of 10.70s, set in 1999 by Marion Jones.

Her win came almost 14 years after her first global 100m title, making her the oldest (35) world champion in any individual track event.