Tokyo Olympics: Usain Bolt backing Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to win third Olympic 100m crown | Tokyo Olympics News
Only Bolt, in the last three Olympic Games, has previously accomplished the feat, making Fraser-Pryce the first woman to score a 100-meter gold medal hat-trick if she wins the final on July 31.
“Personally, I feel like Shelly is the only person who can lose this race,” Bolt told Reuters.
“I hope he doesn’t push himself too hard to get in because he’s fit, he’s fit, all he has to do is get out and run and it shouldn’t be a problem.
“I’m looking forward to seeing her and would be happy to share something like that, winning three Olympics with someone like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, like my compatriot,” added the retired sprinter.
While Bolt won his 100-meter gold trio in successive Games, Fraser-Pryce won the title in Beijing in 2008 and London 2012, but managed just one bronze behind compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah and American Tori Bowie in Rio.
The tiny Fraser-Pryce posted the best 100-meter time in more than three decades at 10.63 seconds in Kingston on June 5. Bolt was not surprised to see her run so well at the age of 34.
“I can see that she adjusted her technique a lot this season and that is what is helping her run so fast because now she is much more fluid and upright at the last end of her career,” he said.
Reigning champion Thompson-Herah, who also won the 200 meters to complete the double sprint in Rio, ran 10.71 in Hungary on July 6 and remains the biggest threat to Fraser-Pryce’s record bet, according to the NBC analyst and former sprinter Ato Boldon.
“I don’t see anybody but Thompson-Herah or Fraser-Pryce winning the Olympic 100 meters,” the Trinidadian, who won four sprint medals in two Olympics, told Reuters.
“It’s not a difficult forecast to make because those two have been the dominant sprinters of their generation and Fraser-Pryce has been the most dominant of all time.”
Fraser-Pryce also enters the Tokyo Games as the second fastest woman over 200 meters this season, thanks to her career-best 21.79, which earned her the Jamaica final in June.
American champion Gabby Thomas leads the world, however, with her streak of 21.61 in the United States Trials, the second-fastest of all time behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 1988 world record of 21.34.
Bolt, however, doesn’t think a first Olympic gold in the half-round event and a double in Tokyo for Fraser-Pryce are out of the question.
“I think the 200 meters are going to be much more difficult after the 100 meters,” he said. “So for me, I believe in her and I can see the work and the talent, it shouldn’t be a problem as long as she’s focused and keeps moving forward.”