Monday 11 November, 2019

Fraser-Pryce named among BBC's top 100 women for 2019

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 100m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 100m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been named by BBC as one of its top 100 women in the world for 2019.

Fraser-Pryce, who became the only woman to win the 100 metres on four occasions at the IAAF World Athletics Championships, is named alongside artists, environmentalists, human rights activists, architects, politicians, scientists, writer, among others.

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ as Fraser-Pryce is nicknamed, won her fourth 100m title in September when she stormed to victory in 10.71 seconds in Doha, Qatar.

At 32-years-old, Fraser-Pryce is the oldest woman to ever win an Olympic or world 100m title - and the first mother to do so since 1995.

The BBC noted that she carried her two-year-old son Zyon, on her lap of honour, saying she wanted to "inspire women thinking of starting a family".

“Finding balance is never easy but we as women get to decide. I never limit myself as to what is possible as long as my body will cooperate,” Fraser-Pryce told the BBC.

“It's important for the future of athletics that women continue to challenge themselves. I am excited to see just how far I can go, even at this stage of my career,” she added.

Among the other athletes named in the BBC’s top 100 is Salwa Eid Naser who stunned the field in the 400m final in Doha this year by running faster than any woman has done for more than three decades.

The BBC noted that the reigning 400m world champion was born in Anambra State, Nigeria, but moved to Bahrain at 14 seeking opportunities to further her running career. She now represents the Gulf State internationally.

“I don't fear nothing for the future because it is something I can handle when it comes. I really want to get it all - now I have the world gold medal, I want to keep going and get the Olympic gold medal,” said Eid Naser.

Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, whose parents are Jamaican, is also on the list. She is the fastest woman in British history and the first British woman to win a major global sprint title.

She took gold in the final of the women's 200m in Doha, after she had already taken silver in the 100m behind Fraser-Pryce.

“Sport allows you to view your body in a positive way as you see the amazing things it is able to do and how it can change. This helps to build self-esteem and leads to healthier lifestyles both in a physical and mental capacity. I want sport to be an area where young women can be unapologetically themselves,” Asher-Smith said.

The BBC's 100 Women team drew up a shortlist based on names gathered by them and suggested by the BBC's network of World Service languages teams.

"We were looking for candidates who had made the headlines or influenced important stories over the past 12 months, as well as those who have inspiring stories to tell, achieved something significant or influenced their societies in ways that wouldn't necessarily make the news," the BBC explained.

The pool of names was then assessed against this year's theme - the Female Future - and measured for regional representation and due impartiality before the final 100 were chosen.

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