The lukewarm reception of Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce to defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah has not gone unnoticed to track enthusiasts across the globe.
The women, likewise Shericka Jackson, competed in the 100m final which saw Thompson Herah winning and setting a new Olympic record.
Her victory, however, was not quickly embraced by Fraser Pryce and Jackson who copped silver and bronze respectively.
While many see the rift as a tainting of brand Jamaica on the international scene, popular sports commentator Oral Tracey says rivalry between the ladies is good.
“Rivalries drive excellence,” Tracey said in a video posted on his Youtube channel on Saturday. “I have absolutely no issue with that reaction between the athletes if that is what it took to get them to be performing at this level… It is not a major problem. In fact, it is no problem at all, it is absolutely good… Yuh see good rivalries too, yuh can use them and market the sport and the very athletes we’re talking about make more money offa that same rivalry.”
The women were the ultimate track queens of the MVP Track Club until Fraser Pryce departed from the camp shortly after her loss in the 100m finals to Thompson Herah at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. She, however, later returned to the camp, though reports surfaced in 2020 that she had left again.
Tracey said he was never comfortable with the women under the same camp as he believed it limited their maximum potential.
“It was the best thing to happen to both of their careers when Shelly decide fi leave MVP,” he said. “Yuh realise seh since she leave MVP both Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Elaine Thompson Herah have run the fastest they’ve ever run? Yeah, two bull cannot reign inna one pen.”
He likened the situation to sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake once being under Racers Track Club at the same time.
“It’s after Bolt retire now yuh hear Blake run up him mouth bout he was in the shadow of Usain for so long. Yeah, because unno have the same coach and unno trying to be friends. I put it to you that if Yohan Blake – at the point at which he was getting closer to Bolt in terms of his performances and his times – had left Racers and gone to another camp and started to see Bolt more as his rival than his big brother, it woulda lead to bigger and better performances probably by both of them just as you see happening now with Shelly and Elaine.”
Tracey said the ladies need not be friends and suggested that they don’t speak to each other for the remaining Olympics.
“Gwaan mek the rivalry drive unno same way, drive unno go round a di 200m. When it come rouna di relay now, yeah, unno can put it pon pause.”