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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 21:55

SHELLY ANN Fraser-Pryce targets October return to training

Written by Jamaica Observer
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She is not yet sure of the exact date, but sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser- Pryce is targeting next month for her return to training after taking a break to have her first child.

“I know I am resuming training next month; not sure when will be the exact time, but I know its next month,” a smiling Fraser-Pryce told the Jamaica Observer here on Saturday.

Fraser-Pryce was in Southfield to present a multi-purpose printer to the Manning's Home Child Care facility (for boys) at Southfield on behalf of her three-year-old Pocket Rocket Foundation. Presentations are coming soon for two other children's homes — Homestead and Glenhope.

On Saturday, Fraser-Pryce, Olympic gold medallist over 100 metres in 2008 and 2012, had more than half an hour of lively and highly entertaining interaction with the boys at the Manning's Home. The home accommodates 60 boys aged eight to 16.

Fraser-Pryce confirmed that she will be in the fold of the Stephen Francis-led MVP track club on her return to training. She left that club for a short time late last year to train in Santa Cruz with Reynaldo Walcott, who is a former assistant coach at MVP.

“I am still with MVP,” Fraser-Pryce said.

The 30-year-old said she would not be rushing her return to competition, but would be methodical in her approach as she looks to the World Championships in two years' time and the Olympic Games in 2020. Fraser- Pryce took bronze in thr 100m at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last year after a long, painful struggle with a toe injury.

“I have not really sat down with coach as yet to decide what we do, [but] my head is in the game right now,” she said.

“Yes, I am a new mother, so I am taking care of that responsibility and looking forward to resuming training and looking forward to next year, but I will be taking it a step at a time. Having a baby and spending nine months being pregnant does kind of change the body a bit, so you have to make sure that you take your time. I have to do core work and get back, and then look to the World Championships in 2019 and the Olympics in 2020,” Fraser-Pryce said.

Asked whether it was difficult to give birth, Fraser-Pryce, who has named her son Zyon, laughingly said her training regime was tougher.

“Well, I am an athlete so I wouldn't say it was that difficult, to be honest… (laughter) I believe training was harder,” she said.

She seemed to suggest that being a mother may be more challenging, notwithstanding her sense of extreme satisfaction with having had her first child. “It's just time-consuming. I have to now realise it's no longer about me and when I want to sleep, and when I want to go anywhere, but now it's about my son,” she said.

She praised her husband Jason for being a model father.

“The good thing about it, my husband is very hands-on and he is very helpful and caring, and I do have help. So I am really excited about spending time with my son and just getting to know him and being the best parent that I can be…” Fraser-Pryce said.

She described her son as “wonderful and healthy”.

“He is good, growing and eating, and just enjoying everything that life has to offer… To be honest he, is more than I expected; I have to give God thanks for having a healthy baby. That was priority, healthy baby, healthy mummy … For me it was a blessing; I am just overwhelmed to be able to give birth to my son,” she said.

A reflective Fraser-Pryce said she felt privileged to be able to take a break from athletics to have a child and still be able to plan her return to competition.

“Some people take things for granted. Being able to create life and to give birth to my son was just a wonderful feeling. It was a really emotional feeling as well because I never thought I would be in that position. A lot of persons don't know when to make time … its limited in terms of being an athlete… especially a woman. It's taboo in some places when a woman [athlete] says 'oh, you know, I am taking time off to have a baby' and then come back to the sport. I am just excited about it and looking forward to coming back …” she said.

So was it that she deliberately decided it was time to take a break and start her family?

A laughing Fraser-Pryce refused to answer directly.

“I don't want to get into that detail. It is what it is, and I wouldn't change it for anything else,” she said.

She says the long break from track competition did her a world of good.

“It was a very good downtime for me. I missed it, to be honest, but it was a good time,” she said.

“ I missed it. I have been doing it for so many years, of course I am going to miss it, but I am also enjoying being a mom right now and I wouldn't change it for anything,” she added.

For now she is giving no thought to following her friend and long-time national teammate Usain Bolt into retirement, but Fraser-Pryce says she knows when the time comes she will know, and it won't be difficult.

“I don't think it will be that hard for me. For me everything is a season, everything in life is a season. When that season comes and you know is time to move on, you will know. for right now I just believe there is a burning sensation that there is more to Shelly-Ann and more for me to offer and I am just looking forward to that,” she said.

During her “downtime”, Fraser-Pryce said she was able to watch segments of the IAAF World Championships in mid-year when Jamaica won just four medals, a gold from Olympic champion sprint hurdler Omar McLeod and three bronze.

“I didn't watch much of it… but I did watch,” she said.

For her it was a shocking and “jaw-dropping” experience.

“I must say that with everything that happened at the World Championships, I was just left shocked. I had a lot of jaw-dropping moments when I just went 'ooah!' And moments when I was like 'oh my God!', but you know it is what it is. Yet, it was good in terms of being away from it and just sitting down and watching it; a different perspective, a different angle…” she said.

Disappointed though with the overall Jamaican performance at the London World Champs, Fraser-Pryce is not downcast.

“It was sad, yes, and as I said, I was left speechless. I couldn't fathom or understand what was happening, but at the same time, I recognise that everything is a season and I don't believe it is the end (of Jamaica's success on the track). I believe we will come good again, and I am looking forward to that time,” she said.


Speaking before the 2016 Olympics in Rio



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