- Cites family emergency for her unexpected withdrawal from Botswana’s most anticipated athletics meet ever that is only days away
Sensational Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has withdrawn from the FNB Botswana Golden Grand Prix and refunded organisers of the highly-anticipated athletics showpiece that is due to focus the attention of the world on Gaborone on Saturday.
The five-time world 100m champion and two-time Olympic 100m gold medalist cited a family emergency as the reason for her withdrawal from the competition that has attracted a wide range of track and field athletes from across the world.
She was expected to open her campaign on the African continent in Gaborone in preparation for the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August.
“I was very excited to kick off my season in Botswana, and while it is disappointing, I am unable to compete in the Golden Grand Prix due to a family emergency,” Fraser-Pryce said in a statement.
She was paid over P800 000 for her to compete in the Golden Grand Prix in Gaborone that is sponsored by First National Bank Botswana, Orange Botswana, World Athletics and the Government of Botswana that have injected over P5 million in the first event of a three-year deal.
Information reaching Gazette Sports is that the sprinter’s management agency refunded the organisers with approximately P670 000 immediately after they released the statement announcing her withdrawal.
In response, the organisers wished the global track star and her family well despite being disappointed by her withdrawal. “We wish Mrs Fraser-Pryce and her family well,” they said.
“We were looking forward to having Mrs Fraser-Pryce start her season in Botswana and are working on securing another athlete to fill the gap in the women’s 100m race.”
The name of another Jamaican sprinter, Elaine Thompson Herah, has cropped up in the organisers’ frantic search for Fraser-Pryce’s replacement in the 100m race that is only days away.
Fraser-Pryce ran 10.67 in her first 100m race of 2022 at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, also a Continental Tour Gold event, to achieve the fastest ever women’s 100m season opener.
She went on to win a fifth world 100m title in Oregon, USA and is aiming to add another gold medal to her highly decorated profile at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23