When she stood behind the starting block before the start of the 100m at the JN Racers Grand Prix on Saturday night at the National Stadium, two-time Olympic 100m champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was overwhelmed with nervousness, she told The Gleaner after the race.
But the screams that echoed into the Kingston night when her named was announced brought a sense of calm over the diminutive athlete and gave her the extra push she needed to register her first victory since returning to track and field after giving birth.
"I think the crowd gave me an extra push. I was a little nervous, but when I heard the screams and shouts, I just got calm, and I remembered, 'Oh, I have been here before.' This is home ground, and I am just really glad that everybody came out and supported," Fraser-Pryce said.
"It was really emotional. It is just because I don't cry very often why I didn't cry, but it was really a warm reception. I am just really happy to be here. I thank God to allow me to finish healthy, and it is my third 100m - still a little choppy, but nonetheless, I am really grateful for the outcome."
Fraser-Pryce stopped the clock at 11.10 seconds. Jenna Prandini of the USA, who got the better of the Jamaican a week ago in the Cayman Islands, was second with 11.14 seconds while young Briana Williams, who is fine-tuning her preparation for the World Under-20 Championship in Tampere, Finland, next month, grabbed the third place spot in 11.26 seconds.
The men's equivalent was equally as exciting as pre-race favourite Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain produced a world- leading time to capture the event. Hughes stopped the clock at 9.91 seconds. American Noah Lyles was second in a personal-best time of 9.93 seconds, while Yohan Blake managed 10.00 seconds for third.
"I am really grateful. I have worked hard for it. I am really happy to see that I got a personal best and dipped under 10 seconds," Hughes said after the race.