Female Sprinters Take the Spotlight at Tokyo’s ‘Superfast’ Track


“I’m just out here trying to do my best,” she said, “and that’s all I can do.”

Prandini recalled being at practice when she was informed that a spot had opened up in the 100. She had already secured a spot on the U.S. team in the 200 meters.

“To be honest, I had no idea who I was replacing,” she said. “I just got a call, and they asked me if I’d run the 100, and I said yes, and that was it. I didn’t know the rest of the story. So, as soon as you guys found out, that’s when I found out, as well.”

After finishing with the third-fastest qualifying time in Tokyo, Fraser-Pryce did not discuss Richardson or her suspension. She could be forgiven for wanting the focus to remain on the sprinters who are at the Olympics, even if doing so was becoming a losing battle.

For much of Fraser-Pryce’s career, she — and most sprinters, male and female — were overshadowed by Bolt.

Now, at 34, Fraser-Pryce is a two-time Olympic champion, a six-time Olympic medalist, a nine-time world champion and the mother of a young son, Zyon. She famously went into labor while watching a broadcast of the women’s 100-meter final at the 2017 world championships. She took about a year off after giving birth, a sabbatical that “kind of rejuvenated my motivation and what I wanted to achieve,” she said.

Fraser-Pryce returned to win another world championship in 2019, then ran the fastest time of her life in June: 10.63 at a meet in Jamaica. That performance made her the second-fastest female sprinter in history behind Florence Griffith-Joyner, whose world record has stood for 33 years.

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On Friday, Fraser-Pryce did not dismiss the idea that she could set another personal best if the conditions were right and the race lived up to its potential.