'Seven other competitors in the race' - Fraser-Pryce not bothered by absence of Richardson at Kenya World Athletics Continental Tour

By Sports Desk May 06, 2022

Jamaica track and field superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists she will not focus on the absence of American Sha’Carri Richardson ahead of the World Athletics Continental Tour, at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday.

Instead, the nine-time World Champion is more intent on keeping her attention on the rest of the field that she is set to face, which will include 200m Olympic silver medallist Christine Mboma of Namibia.

Ahead of the meet, a lot of attention had been placed on the possibility of another 100m match-up between the Fraser-Pryce and Richardson, no doubt a spillover from last season which feature a highly-anticipated showdown at the Eugene Diamond League meet.  Just two days ahead of the Continental Tour, however, and for the third time this season, it was discovered that Richardson had withdrawn from the meet without a public explanation being provided.

Last year, the Eugene match-up between Richardson and Fraser-Pryce had been billed as a great redemption story of sorts for the American.  The athlete had missed out on facing the Jamaica medal-winning trio of Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson at the Olympics, after being suspended for a month for marijuana usage. 

Despite the American’s presence, however, the Jamaicans finished in the same order as the Tokyo Games, where Thompson-Herah finished ahead of Fraser-Pryce and Jackson third. Richardson finished in last place.

“As far as I’m concerned there are seven other competitors in the race that I think deserve the same amount of attention and respect as me because when we each line up to compete I don’t think we are fearful of who is beside us or in the next lane.  We are just here to compete and give our best,” Fraser-Pryce told members of the media.

“So, if someone is missing from the competition it doesn’t stop me from focusing on what I’m here to do and getting the job done.”

In addition to Mboma, the 100m field will consist of the USA’s Shannon Ray, Maximilla Imali (Ken), Bassant Hemida (Egy), Rani Rosius (BEL), Patrizia Vanderweken (Lux), and Javianne Oliver (USA).

 

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    The team of Reheem Hayles, JeVaughn Powell, Kimar Farquharson and Tarees Rhoden, gallantly clocked 2:59.75 against a Barbados team, and an international quartet at the NACAC New Life Invitational in Bahamas on Sunday, but failed to run faster than the 2:59.12 seconds set by Zambia in March.

    That was Jamaica’s third attempt at qualification, following two failures at the World Athletics Relays, also held in the Bahamas, in May. Fourteen teams qualified from the World Relays with the next best two teams, based on times run during the qualifying window, being added.

    France (2:58.46) and Zambia, currently occupy those slots, with Jamaica now in a race against time to surpass one of the two before the close of the qualification window on June 30.

    Should the Jamaicans fail to do so, it would be the first time in decades that the country would be absent from the men’s 4x400m at any major championship.

    Francis believes all this could have been avoided had JAAA’s president Garth Gayle appointed competent individuals with immense knowledge of how to manage the situation accordingly.

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    “They know nothing about senior athletics. They might have some kind of resume in (managing) juniors, being a high school principal or a coach at a high school, so (the country suffers) as a result of these personnel, because they keep making stupid decisions when it comes to seniors,” he added.

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